Danbury Sexting Lawyer
While there is nothing illegal about adults exchanging sexually explicit photos or videos of themselves with other consenting adults, teenagers who engage in “sexting” with each other have technically created, distributed, and subsequently possessed child pornography, which under most other circumstances could be prosecuted as a high-level felony offense. If you or your loved one is facing juvenile or adult criminal charges over this kind of behavior, contacting a Danbury sexting lawyer for assistance should be among your top priorities.
How “Sexting” Differs from Child Pornography Charges
Any person over the age of 18 who possesses any amount of child pornography—defined by Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-193(13) as any visual depiction of a person under 16 engaged in sexually explicit conduct—may be charged with felony possession under C.G.S. §§ 53a-196d through 53a-196f, with even greater penalties applicable if they distributed or played a role in producing child pornography. However, C.G.S. § 53a-196h carves out a unique exception to this rule for minors who have technically produced and exchanged “child pornography” but only depicting themselves and only “distributed” to one other person.
Rather than a felony, any person under 18 who knowingly possesses an instance of child pornography sent to them voluntarily and knowingly by the depicted minor over any kind of computer or telephone communications network has committed a Class A Misdemeanor. Additionally, if the person in possession of the illicit material was not aware that they had it at all or immediately reported the matter to law enforcement after receiving it, they may have an affirmative defense they could present in court—something a Danbury sexting attorney can go into further detail about if applicable.
Potential Consequences of a Sexting Charge
Since “sexting” as defined under C.G.S. §53a-196h is a Class A misdemeanor, the maximum sanctions a person convicted under this statute could face would be one year in jail and/or $2,000 in fines. However, since this charge can only be levied against minors, to begin with, it is far more common for sexting charges to be handled in the juvenile court system, where an “adjudication of guilt” can have a different outcome.
Depending on the circumstances, a juvenile court may only recommend a warning or a period of probation for someone found to have illegally sexted with another teenager, or it may recommend harsher sanctions like confinement in juvenile detention for individuals with existing juvenile records. Once again, a sexting attorney in Danbury can provide more specific information about the outcomes a particular case might have during a confidential consultation.
Work With a Danbury Sexting Attorney
While sexting between teenagers is certainly not as serious as adult child pornography possession or distribution, a sexting charge can still have a significant impact on a young person’s life. Representation from seasoned legal counsel is vital to minimizing the short-term and long-term consequences of this sort of accusation and to moving on from the incident as proactively as possible.
A Danbury sexting lawyer can be an ally to your whole family from beginning to end of the legal process. Learn more by calling the Law Offices of Mark Sherman today, and click here to visit our Avvo profile with over 300 certified reviews.