Sexting isn’t illegal in and of itself, but when it involves a minor it can be. In fact, depending on the circumstance, it could be either a misdemeanor or felony. If you are charged with any criminal offense related to sexting, call a child pornography lawyer immediately.
Sexting With a Minor Charges
Sexting involves sending sexually explicit images or messages via cell phone. If you receive sexual images of a juvenile, you can be charged with possession of child pornography. If you send explicit images of a minor, you can be charged with distributing child porn. Most persons arrested after sexting with a minor will be charged with sending harmful matter with the intent of seducing a minor.
Other common charges related to sexting with a minor can involve soliciting sex with a minor, statutory rape and lewd acts with a child. You can be charged with some or all of these charges depending on the situation. If you have any questions about the specific charges you are facing, your attorney can help clarify things for you.
Is Sexting a Minor a Felony?
Some of these crimes are misdemeanors, others are felonies and some can be charged as either depending on the specific circumstances and the prosecutor handling the case. Sending harmful matter with the intent of seducing a minor is something that almost always applies to sexting. In order for you to be convicted of this crime, the prosecution must be able to prove that you intentionally sent obscene images to a minor with the intent of arousing lust in yourself or the minor with the ultimate intent of seducing him or her. As you can imagine, it can be difficult for the prosecuting attorney to prove all of these facets of the charge, especially if you have a skilled defense lawyer fighting for your innocence.
Convictions related to sexting with a minor can result in lengthy prison sentences, formal probation, massive fines and a lifetime of registering as a sex offender.
Teens Can Be Charged Too
It’s important to note that just because someone is a minor doesn’t mean he or she can’t be charged with these crimes if they are sexting with another minor or sharing nude pictures of themselves. Additionally, arguing that you didn’t know the other party was under 18 is not a defense. This is why it is always so critical to insist on speaking with your lawyer before you speak with the police.
Do not consent to a search of your phone if it is seized by the police. Do not give your password to the police. Insist they obtain a warrant before searching your phone.
If you have been accused of sexting with a minor, Peter Liss can help. Please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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