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Is “Sexting” Considered a Crime in Tennessee?

 Posted on October 07,2019 in Criminal Defense

Blount County sex crimes defense attorney

The evolution of technology has provided the world with many benefits that facilitate communication regardless of one's location. People can reach each other through many means of communication, allowing them to stay in touch and be connected in a different way than ever before. Despite the advantages that come from such technological advancements, there are many dangers that have also emerged, some of which are considered crimes. Crimes involving technology are very common among juveniles, leading to life-altering legal consequences.

What Is “Sexting”?

The term “sexting” is a slang word used to describe the act of sending sexually explicit messages to another person. This can include photos and videos that contain nudity and/or show sexual acts. Text messages that discuss or suggest sexual acts are also considered sexting. Since many children and most teens have cell phones, this legal issue has exploded in the last decade.

For many, sexting is used to flirt or draw the attention of the other sex. While this may seem relatively harmless when messages are sent from a girlfriend to a boyfriend or vice versa, the explicit content can easily be used against the other individual for public humiliation or to file legal charges against him or her. For those who get involved in online dating, sexting can run rampant and lead to serious personal and legal consequences. Not only could the explicit content become viral, but it can also lead to future abuse from the “anonymous” individual. Minors often do not realize the ramifications that can result from sending a single photo.

What Are the Charges for Sexting?

Since many of the individuals who get caught up in sexting are minors, the charges in these cases can be severe. Many teens do not realize that these explicit messages are considered child pornography if the person depicted is under the age of 18. Minors who are found creating, distributing, or possessing a sexually explicit photo or video of another minor can face child pornography charges. For those being convicted for the first time, they can spend up to one year in jail, owe $2,500 in fines, and have a Class A misdemeanor charge on their criminal record. Second charges escalate to a Class E felony. This charge includes one to six years in prison and up to $3,000 in fines, and the offender may be required to register as a sex offender. 

Contact a Knoxville, TN Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney 

Having a criminal record is detrimental regardless of your age; however, being convicted of child pornography charges can ruin a child’s future. Sex charges can limit educational and professional opportunities as well as affect his or her ability to be around children and have a family one day. At the law offices of Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, we understand that the decision-making process and maturity level of minors is significantly less developed than adults with more life experience. Our attorneys will work to defend your child, allowing him or her to receive a second chance. If your child is facing child pornography charges, contact our Knox County juvenile crimes defense attorneys at 865-281-1000 for a free consultation.



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