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Displaying Matter Harmful to Juveniles

Obscene or pornographic material for sale in Ohio generally needs to be sealed or placed behind a merchant’s counter such that it is not open to the view of juveniles. Business owners and other individuals who display any material that is harmful to juveniles and is open to view by juveniles as part of the invited general public at their establishments can be charged with displaying matter harmful to juveniles.

While displaying matter harmful to juveniles is a misdemeanor offense, every day that an alleged offender is in alleged violation of state law is treated as a separate offense. When a person is accused of having violated the law for multiple days, he or she could be facing very significant penalties.

Attorney for Displaying Matter Harmful to Juveniles in Dayton, OH

If you were arrested for allegedly displaying matter harmful to juveniles anywhere in the greater Miami Valley area, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Joslyn Law Firm aggressively defends clients accused of sex offenses in numerous communities in and around Montgomery County, including Fairborn, Springfield, Beavercreek, Huber Heights, Dayton, Kettering, Troy, Piqua, and many others.

Dayton criminal defense lawyer Brian Joslyn can fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case, including possibly having the criminal charges minimized or eliminated. Call (937) 356-3969 to have our attorney review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.


Ohio Displaying Matter Harmful to Juveniles Information Center


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Montgomery County Displaying Matter Harmful to Juveniles Charges

Ohio Revised Code § 2907.311 makes it a first-degree misdemeanor for any person who has custody, control, or supervision of a commercial establishment, with knowledge of the character or content of the material involved, to display at the establishment any material that is harmful to juveniles and that is open to view by juveniles as part of the invited general public. Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.01(J), material is defined as meaning any book, magazine, newspaper, pamphlet, poster, print, picture, figure, image, description, motion picture film, phonographic record, or tape, or other tangible thing capable of arousing interest through sight, sound, or touch and includes an image or text appearing on a computer monitor, television screen, liquid crystal display, or similar display device or an image or text recorded on a computer hard disk, computer floppy disk, compact disk, magnetic tape, or similar data storage device.

Ohio Revised Code § 2907.01(E) defines “harmful to juveniles" as meaning that quality of any material or performance describing or representing nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse in any form to which all of the following apply:

  • The material or performance, when considered as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest of juveniles in sex;
  • The material or performance is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable for juveniles; and
  • The material or performance, when considered as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, and scientific value for juveniles.

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Displaying Matter Harmful to Juveniles Penalties in Dayton

As a first-degree misdemeanor offenses, displaying matter harmful to juveniles convictions are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000. Ohio Revised Code § 2907.311(B) does provide that an alleged offender does not commit a violation if:

  • The material in question was displayed by being placed behind "blinder racks" or similar devices that cover at least the lower two-thirds of the material;
  • The material in question was wrapped or placed behind the counter; or
  • The material in question otherwise was covered or located so that the portion that is harmful to juveniles was not open to the view of juveniles.

Convictions for displaying matter harmful to juveniles convictions cannot be expunged from an alleged offender’s criminal record.


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Ohio Displaying Matter Harmful to Juveniles Resources

Assistance for Regulation of Adult Entertainment Establishments — Visit this section of the Ohio Attorney General website to learn more about the two Sexually Oriented Businesses Model Ordinances that constitute legal guidance the attorney general is required to provide to townships and municipal corporations concerning the regulation of adult entertainment. You can view PDF or Word Document versions of the model ordinance prohibiting criminal conduct in sexually oriented businesses and the model ordinance regulating sexually oriented businesses. The website also contains links to the relevant sections of the Ohio Revised Code as well as to legislation passed by Ohio's state legislature addressing sexually oriented businesses.

Redrup v. New York, 386 US 767 — On May 8, 1967, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in this case consolidating three cases arising “from a recurring conflict—the conflict between asserted state power to suppress the distribution of books and magazines through criminal or civil proceedings, and the guarantees of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.” In Redrup v. New York, the alleged offender was charged with violating a state criminal law after selling two paperback books to a plainclothes patrolman who asked for them by name; in Austin v. Kentucky, the alleged offender was also charged with violating a state criminal law after selling two magazines books to a woman who again asked for them by name; in Gent v. Arkansas, the prosecuting attorney of the Eleventh Judicial District of Arkansas brought a civil proceeding under a state statute to have certain issues of various magazines declared obscene, to enjoin their distribution, and to obtain a judgment ordering their surrender and destruction. The Supreme Court reversed the judgments in all three cases, writing that none of the cases involved a claim that the statute in question reflected a specific and limited state concern for juveniles, any suggestion of an assault upon individual privacy by publication in a manner so obtrusive as to make it impossible for an unwilling individual to avoid exposure to it, or evidence of the sort of "pandering" which the Court found significant in Ginzburg v. United States, 383 U. S. 463.


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Joslyn Law Firm | Dayton Displaying Matter Harmful to Juveniles Defense Lawyer

Were you arrested in Montgomery County for allegedly displaying matter harmful to juveniles? Do not make any kind of statement to authorities without legal representation. Contact Joslyn Law Firm right now.

Brian Joslyn is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Dayton who represents individuals all over Greene County, Miami County, Montgomery County, and Clark County. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (937) 356-3969 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.


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