Why teens still get in trouble for ‘sexting.’

Criminal Defense
By Goodwin Como, P.C.

The end of August will be here soon enough. For teens in high school (and in college) the new school year means that new friendships will be made, new relationships may begin, and new opportunities for young people to explore their sexuality will come about.

Today’s phones, social media apps, and cultural norms make it more common for young people to communicate online and through social media. This also involves enticing potential suitors with sexually explicit pictures, also known as “sexting.”

Yes, teens may find that “sexting” is a fun and spontaneous way to attract someone, but most don’t realize that it could result in criminal charges that could change their lives forever. This is because sending illicit pictures could be construed as the transmission of illegal, pornographic images. Under state and federal law, possessing and/or transmitting child porn could be punished with jail time and a longtime requirement of registration as a sex offender.

If there is one constant that teens carry from generation to generation, it is the blind, yet steadfast belief that bad things won’t happen to them. More often than not, this reasoning leads to trouble. So for teens charged with crimes based on sexting, it is critically important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. While a teen in trouble may put on a tough façade for those who don’t know them well, they are highly impressionable and likely very scared about what is going to happen to them. So to avoid jail time, they may say or do anything to avoid such a penalty.

The preceding is not legal advice.