New Canaan Sexting Lawyer
Sexting while under age is a crime in Connecticut, even if it’s consensual. If your child is currently facing allegations of unlawfully possessing child pornography, you should reach out to a New Canaan sexting lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you understand your legal options.
When Is “Sexting” Illegal in New Canaan?
According to Connecticut General Statutes §53a-193(13), any photograph, video, or electronic depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a person under 16 constitutes unlawful child pornography. This means that that children who take pictures or videos of themselves in sexual situations have created child pornography under the letter of state law, and sending or receiving such material qualifies as a criminal offense.
C.G.S. §53a-196h makes it illegal for a minor under 18 to knowingly possess any sexually explicit depiction of a child under 16 sent to them by the depicted individual through an electronic communication device. Likewise, this same section of state law prohibits children under 16 from sending a sexually explicit depiction of themselves via an electronic communication device to any other minor under 18.
In this context, the term “electronic communication device” covers not only cell phones and smart phones, but any electronic device capable of receiving and/or transmitting images, including computers and tablets. A New Canaan sexting attorney could offer further clarification how state authorities define and prosecute this offense.
Is Consent a Defense?
No. Consent is not a defense to sexting allegations. Minors are not legally capable of consenting to sexual acts, therefore even if both parties are 100% willing and voluntarily participating, charges could still be filed. This is not to say there are no defenses, a skilled New Canaan lawyer could help explain the defenses best fit for your case.
What Are The Consequences of Underage Sexting Charges?
Fortunately, state law treats minors who make the mistake of distributing and/or receiving what amounts to child pornography differently than adults who intentionally and knowingly possess illicit material. Unlike other child pornography offenses, which are all felonies that could lead to serious prison time upon conviction, a violation of C.G.S. §53a-196h is only a class A misdemeanor, allowing for one year in jail and a $2,000 fine at most if prosecuted in criminal court.
Additionally, it is rare for state authorities to process “sexting” charges through adult criminal courts, as the law’s purpose is to protect children from bad decisions in their youth that might harm them later in life. Instead, these offenses generally proceed through juvenile court, where an adjudication of guilt may lead to a warning, a short probation term, and/or minor fines. That being said, having a juvenile record can still have a negative impact on a child’s future prospects, so working with a skilled lawyer to contest sexting accusations in New Canaan is generally still a good move.
Get in Touch with a New Canaan Sexting Attorney
A qualified New Canaan sexting lawyer could work on your family’s behalf to seek the best resolution possible. Want to know more about who you’re working with? Head over to Avvo to read hundreds of 5-star client reviews. Get started on your defense today.