Sale, Distribution, or Display of Harmful Material to Minor

Chapter 43 of the Texas Penal Code defines charges and punishments for offenses of public indecency.

“Sale, Distribution, or Display of Harmful Material to Minor”, as per § 43.24 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when a person, knowing that the material is harmful:

1. and knowing the person is a minor, he sells, distributes, exhibits, or possesses for sale, distribution, or exhibition to a minor harmful material;

2. he displays harmful material and is reckless about whether a minor is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display; or

3. he hires, employs, or uses a minor to do or accomplish or assist in doing or accomplishing any of the acts prohibited in the previous 2 bullet points.

"Harmful material" means material whose dominant theme taken as a whole:

  • appeals to the prurient interest of a minor, in sex, nudity, or excretion;
  • is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable for minors; and
  • is utterly without redeeming social value for minors.

An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless it is committed under Subsection 3) in which event it is a felony of the third degree.

Punishment Ranges

Misdemeanor A

  • Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year
  • Fine not to exceed $4,000
  • Both such fine and confinement

Third Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 10 years or less than two years
  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

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