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‘Sexting’ may be common, but it’s often illegal

Jun 23, 2017 | Sex Crimes

“But everybody’s doing it!” That’s a common refrain from youngsters. Of course, the common response from most parents to such a remark is equally well known. “Just because everybody’s doing it doesn’t make it right.”

‘Sexting’ may well be said to be the “everybody’s doing it” pastime of our day. According to many experts, the telephone technology that makes sexting possible is so much a part of daily life now – for young and old – that teens just consider the practice the new way to flirt. It’s might only be after it’s too late that they learn that the law doesn’t view sexting the same way. It could draw a sex crime charge and a conviction could have serious consequences. 

Handling sex offenses with sensitivity

In any of its forms, the act of sexting involves the sending of suggestive material via phone text. It could be written content, but it is more likely to be image-based. If the image displays nudity (even partial) or features a minor in a suggestive situation or pose, it could have criminal repercussions.

In some states, the laws haven’t caught up with the technology so sexting itself might not be defined specifically. However, child pornography laws have been widely interpreted by courts to be viable vehicles for prosecution when the images involved are of minors.

In the midst of a swiftly changing legal landscape, outcomes in alleged sexting cases can differ dramatically. In some states, variations may be seen from county to county. Depending on the circumstances of the case, consequences could include incarceration and registration in a public database as a sex offender. Minors, however, might be eligible for diversion programs that offer the hope of lighter penalties.

For the protection of rights, regardless of age, anyone facing sex charges related to sexting should seek out experienced legal counsel to assess their options for defense. Our firm stands ready to serve in this regard.