The People’s Lawyer

When does sexting become a crime?

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Sexting has become a mainstream activity for many people, but some don’t think much about the fine line that stands between legal sexting and illegal sexting. Understanding the legal boundaries of sexting is crucial in today’s digital world.

While sharing explicit material might be acceptable among consenting adults, there are situations where sexting crosses the line into criminal activity. Sexting becomes problematic when it involves non-consensual sharing or minors. Knowing the laws around explicit consent can help avoid crossing into illegal territory.

When consent is a determining factor

Sending explicit material without the other party’s consent can result in criminal charges. It’s possible to face harassment or even sexual assault charges. In such scenarios, the person who received the material without consent may have legal options.

Sexting involving minors is child pornography

If a minor is part of the sexting exchange, the situation is automatically classified as child pornography. This holds true even if the minor initiated the sexting or consented to it. The penalties for engaging in this activity can be severe, including hefty fines and imprisonment.

Be cautious in your digital interactions

Always exercise caution when involved in sexting. Ensure you have explicit consent from the other party if both of you are adults. And remember, sexting that involves minors is illegal, regardless of who initiated the act or whether consent was given. Knowing the legal boundaries can help you avoid inadvertently breaking the law. If you face criminal charges regarding sexting, you should learn about your defense options quickly because this is a serious charge that can result in lifelong consequences.