Dispensing Violent Films to Minors in Colorado
CRS 18-7-601

In Colorado, providing certain violent films to anyone under the age of 18 can be a criminal offense. This applies to videos that are considered predominantly appealing to an interest in violence with actual violence resulting in injury or death. Dispensing violent films to minors is a misdemeanor with penalties including a fine of up to $1,000. In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:

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In Colorado, providing certain violent films to anyone under the age of 18 can be a criminal offense.

1. What is dispensing violent films to minors?

Furnishing certain violent films to anyone under the age of 18 is a criminal offense known as dispensing violent films to minors. This applies to videos that are considered predominantly appealing to an interest in violence with actual violence resulting in injury or death.1

A minor includes anyone under the age of 18.2

2. What are considered violent films?

The types of films that are prohibited include any video tape, video disc, motion picture, film representation, or other form of motion picture if:

  1. The average person would find that the work, taken as a whole, predominantly appeals to the interest in violence; and
  2. The work depicts or describes in an offensive way, repeated acts of actual violence resulting in serious bodily injury or death; and
  3. The work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.3

To determine whether a film is considered a prohibited violent film, the jury would apply contemporary community standards to judge whether the film appeals to the interest in violence and is offensive. The violence depicted in the film includes actual acts of violence and not simulated violence.

Violence in film is not determined by the rating system. The rating system is provided by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and has no legal consequences. It is voluntary for movie theaters or video stores to enforce the rating systems based on recommended age, including G, PG, PG-13, R, or NC-17.

3. What are the penalties for dispensing violent films to a minor?

Furnishing violent films to a minor is a misdemeanor. Anyone who is convicted of dispensing a violent film to a minor is subject to a fine of up to $1,000. A second or subsequent conviction for dispensing violent films to minors is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.4

4. Related Offenses

4.1. Sexually Explicit Materials Harmful to Children C.R.S. 18-7-502

In Colorado, it is a criminal offense to sell or rent to a child any photograph, video, or visual representation of sexually explicit nudity, conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse which is harmful to children. Providing sexually explicit material to children is a class 2 misdemeanor, with penalties including 3 to 12 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

4.2. Contributing to the Delinquency of Minor C.R.S. 18-6-701

In Colorado, behavior that induces a person under the age of 18 to violate a law, ordinance or court order is considered contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a Class 4 felony offense that carries penalties of 2 to 6 years in prison and fines up to $500,000.

4.3. Furnishing Tobacco to a Minor C.R.S. 18-13-121

It is unlawful in Colorado to give, sell, dispense, distribute, or offer a cigarette, nicotine, or other tobacco product to anyone under the age of 18. Selling tobacco to a minor is a class 2 petty offense in Colorado that carries a fine of $200.

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If you have been charged with dispensing violent films to a minor, please contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group. Our caring Colorado defense attorneys have many years of experience representing clients who have been charged with criminal offenses. We are among the best Colorado criminal defense attorneys to call. Contact us today for a free consultation by phone or in-person or in our Denver law office.


Legal References

  1. C.R.S. 18-7-601
  2. C.R.S. 18-7-601(2)
  3. C.R.S. 18-7-601(1)
  4. C.R.S. 18-7-601(3)

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