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Sexting involving minors is a federal crime

As cellular networks evolved, it was probably inevitable that they would be used to send explicit photographs. Sexting, as it is colloquially referred to by mass media, is the digital transmission of sexually explicit or suggestive photos via cell phones. This phenomenon is not limited to adults; there are dozens of stories of teenagers sending suggestive photographs to one another. The problem with rapidly advancing technologies is that the law has trouble keeping pace.

There are very few laws that deal with the issue of sexting, per se. However, many young people do run amok of child pornography laws. The states and federal government ban child pornography in one form or another. Child pornography production and distribution laws are among the harshest felonies on the federal and state books. Most of them do not include special considerations for underage offenders. Therefore, it is possible that teenagers could be swept up in these prosecutions.

Because the sentences and punishments are so draconian, a child who is convicted of charges related to sexting could be dealing with the consequences of this conviction for years. Punishments such as prison time, steep fines, educational classes counseling and even being placed on the sex offender registry are all possible. These punishments could end up costing thousands of dollars and impact your child’s life well into adulthood.

This is when prosecutorial discretion plays a huge role because many of these laws involve mandatory minimums, therefore, the judge cannot reduce the sentence even if he or she wanted to. The entire process is in the hands of the prosecutor.

Sexting may seem innocent to your child but the law takes the action very serious. These laws are constantly changing and evolving. You can learn more by asking an attorney about the changes to the law and how this affects your defense. These charges are very serious; every spare minute counts when it comes to preparing a defense.


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