The People’s Lawyer

There are laws against “sexting” in West Virginia

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Firm News

Easy access to a smartphone can have both benefits and drawbacks. For many people, it can lead to a few hours a day spent browsing online or scrolling through social media. Advancements in technology mean that it’s now easy to send high-quality photographs from one person to another via your cell phone. 

The ease of sending pictures in this way can facilitate “sexting” or sex texting. This involves the sending of explicit messages and pictures via text. While there’s no law against this among consenting adults, it does cause issues with the younger generation. 

Two consenting adults sexting is not against the law

The point at which the law gets involved is when one of the parties to the conversation is a minor. It is illegal to share sexual material with a minor. It is also illegal to share any material of this nature that you get from a minor with another adult. Depending on the actions, and the seriousness of the offense, such conduct can be treated as a felony which may result in a large fine and incarceration if you’re proven guilty. 

Where both parties are minors, West Virginia law requires the state prosecutors to prioritize the application of the sexting educational diversion program where available. This is intended to help show minors the risk of engaging in this behavior. 

It recognizes the seriousness of a sex offense conviction for young, first-time offenders and the consequences of mandatory sex offender registration. Completion of the program means that the minor may avoid having a permanent criminal record. 

Facing criminal charges for sexting can be very frightening as a conviction can have life-changing consequences. It’s important to get the right legal assistance that can help you to robustly fight the charges against you.