Sale, Distribution, or Display of Harmful Material to Minor

Sec. 43.24.  SALE, DISTRIBUTION, OR DISPLAY OF HARMFUL MATERIAL TO MINOR.  (a)  For purposes of this section:

(1)  “Minor” means an individual younger than 18 years.

(2)  “Harmful material” means material whose dominant theme taken as a whole:

(A)  appeals to the prurient interest of a minor, in sex, nudity, or excretion;

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(B)  is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable for minors;  and

(C)  is utterly without redeeming social value for minors.

(b)  A person commits an offense if, 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 Subsection (b)(1) or (b)(2).

(c)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that  the sale, distribution, or exhibition was by a person having scientific, educational, governmental, or other similar justification.

(c-1)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor was the spouse of the minor at the time of the offense.

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

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.  Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 497, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.


Benson Varghese

Managing Partner at Varghese Summersett PLLC
Benson Varghese is the founder and Managing Partner of Varghese Summersett PLLC. He is a prolific writer and has authored hundreds of articles about criminal law in Texas and at the Federal level. His articles have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Above the Law, and have been selected as Top Blogs by the State Bar of Texas. He was named the Young Lawyer of the Year in 2019 by the Tarrant County Bar Association. Benson led the firm to become one of the 500 fastest growing businesses in the United States by Inc 500 Magazine in 2018. In the same year, the firm was named the Best Law Firm in Fort Worth by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The lawyers at Varghese Summersett PLLC exclusively handle criminal defense matters.
Benson Varghese