Smartphones are just about everywhere nowadays, even in the hands of teenagers
who cannot bear to be torn away from this relatively new technology. While
many use it to stay in constant contact with one another, always gossiping
in real time, an alarming number of them engage in a practice known as
“sexting.” What is it? It is the sending of sexually suggestive
or nude pictures via text messaging or other platforms that provide messaging
services. A fair amount of states have laws that are caught up with technology
and will exact penalties on teenagers who sext one another. Depending
on the state and the details of the crime, these penalties can range anywhere
from minor to severe, especially when a state uses the punishments associated
with pre-existing laws on child pornography.
What You Need to Know About Sexting in Texas
In Texas, teen sexting falls under its law against electronically transmitted
sexual depictions of children. According to this law, it is illegal for
a minor to electronically send images of an individual under the age of
18 to another minor, even if the images are of the sender or recipient.
A potential defense to these charges is if the images are of the sender
and recipient during the course of a romantic relationship and both persons
involved are not more than two years apart in age. This is applicable
even If one of the individuals involved is 18 or older.
In some cases, only one party might be subject to penalties if he or she
sent the nude or sexually suggestive images to the recipient to harass
or bully him or her. An adult who engages in sexting with a minor could
be prosecuted for distributing sexual images to a minor, possession of
child pornography, or promoting a sexual performance by a minor, which
are all typically punishable as felonies.
For minors who send or receive sexts from other minors, Texas treats the
crime as a Class C misdemeanor, which could include a fine of up to $500.
These penalties could potentially increase for any subsequent offenses.
For adults who sext minors, they could face a fine of up to $10,000 and
up to 20 years in prison. Additionally, he or she will have to register
as a sex offender.
Sex Crimes Defense Attorney in Fort Worth
At Jerry Loftin & Associates, our Forth Worth
criminal defense attorneys have more than 65 years of combined legal experience, which
we will use to your advantage. If your teen is facing sexting charges,
let us assist you in protecting their future by providing the fierce legal
advocacy they need during this difficult time.
For the skilled legal representation you deserve,
contact us today at (817) 591-7850 to schedule a free initial case evaluation.