Sexting Charges Defense
Sexting crimes are on the rise, as police and prosecutors all over the country crackdown on these offenses against underage youth. Minors frequently use texting apps to send picture messages and video of themselves or people they know in compromising states of undress. Although many of these young people trade these images with others they already know, some of the recipients are legal adults. These images often qualify as child pornography.
The thing few young people understand is they may be breaking state and federal laws when they trade these photos, even with a boyfriend or girlfriend. If you or your loved one are accused of breaking these laws, you need the immediate help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
The Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003 made sexting with anyone under the age of eighteen a criminal offense. Sending, receiving, distributing, copying, or performing related activities of child pornography are federal crimes. This means you committed a federal crime if you sent photos or videos of naked children under age 18 – even yourself – to anyone.
Sexting Is a Major Problem
The PROTECT Act was enacted in 2003 and parents and teachers know to advise young people to not commit these acts. But sexting is still a major issue among young people unaware of the criminal nature of these images. You even break state and federal laws if you are a minor dating a legal adult, sending them images of yourself via text or sext. The same laws are broken when an adult sends such images to someone underage.
The crime continues and expands if you forward these images to someone else, or someone outside of the original two parties receives the photos or videos.
In a recent survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, over 20 percent of teen girls and 15 percent of teen boys admit to having participated in sexting at some point in their recent past. Not knowing you are breaking the law is unfortunately not a legal defense when you find yourself charged with these crimes.
The resulting charges are usually distribution and possession of child pornography. These crimes can result in somewhere between five and fifteen years in prison. There are also significant fines and other penalties. You may even be required to register as a sex offender in the state.
You Need Strong Legal Defense for Sexting Related Charges
If you or someone you love is charged with crimes of child pornography, sexual exploitation, or other offenses related to sexting, you need aggressive legal defense. Your criminal defense lawyer must have extensive knowledge of Arizona state and federal criminal law for these matters. You obviously need a lawyer capable of developing a strong legal defense. But you also need one able to help you gain reduced sentencing, should you be found guilty.