Fairfield Sexting Lawyer
While “sexting” is completely legal for consenting adults in Connecticut, it is against the law for people under 18 to engage in this activity and they can face criminal sex crime charges for doing so. If your child is facing allegations of this nature, you should make speaking with a Fairfield sexting lawyer your top priority.
How State Law Addresses “Sexting” Between Teenagers
The Connecticut Penal Code treats all criminal offenses involving child pornography possession by adults as serious felonies punishable by multiple years of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines. However, state legislators have also made efforts in recent years to distinguish between adults knowingly participating in the exploitation of children and teenagers making ill-advised decisions that lead to them voluntarily creating “child porn” of themselves.
As a result, “sexting” between teenagers is addressed in a different section of the Penal Code than other child porn possession offenses. Under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-196h, it is illegal for any child under 16 to knowingly and intentionally send an explicit depiction of themselves through any telephone or electronic communication system to another child under 18, and it is likewise illegal for a child under 18 to knowingly possess such an image sent to them voluntarily via these means by any depicted minor under 16.
It is worth emphasizing that this section of the Connecticut Penal Code applies exclusively to minors fitting the age ranges mentioned above. As a Fairfield sexting attorney can further explain, any person over the age of 18 who participates in a “sexting” exchange with someone under 18 could be prosecuted for one or more felony offenses related to child pornography and/or the sexual exploitation of children.
Criminal Consequences for a Sexting Conviction
A violation of C.G.S. §53a-196h is considered a Class A misdemeanor, meaning that someone prosecuted as an adult under this statute could face maximum sanctions upon conviction of a year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines. Most of the time, though, this type of offense is handled in juvenile court, where an “adjudication of guilt” could result in comparatively lighter penalties such as juvenile detention, smaller fines, probation, community service, and sometimes just a formal warning.
However, any adult who knowingly receives a sexually explicit image from a minor through a “sexting” exchange would likely face felony charges for child pornography possession under C.G.S. §§ 53a-196d through 53a-196f, with maximum penalties of up to 20 years in prison and $15,000 in fines depending on the degree of charge the defendant is facing. Likewise, any minor who knowingly sends or receives an explicit image of a minor other than themselves or someone they are directly “sexting” with may be prosecuted as an adult for a child pornography offense—a situation which a sexting defense lawyer in Fairfield can provide vital assistance with addressing.
Talk to a Fairfield Sexting Attorney Today
Facing criminal charges of any kind as a minor can be an intimidating and immensely consequential experience, especially if those charges technically involve distributing or producing child pornography. Fortunately, you have help available from seasoned legal professionals who know exactly how to handle situations like the one your family is going through. Call today to learn more about how a Fairfield sexting lawyer from the Law Offices of Mark Sherman can assist you, and click here to view our Avvo profile to read what past clients have said about working with us.