Could I Go to Jail for Sexting?

Picture of woman on her phone

In this electronic age, sending a nude photo may not feel like a crime. However, depending on the circumstances, it could result in serious criminal charges. Though it is legal for two, consenting adults to send or exchange private pictures, there are cases when sending pictures can result in jail-time:

When Another Adult Is Involved:

Sexting must be consensual. If you send unwanted, explicit photos of yourself to another adult, you could be charged with harassment.

When a Minor Is Involved:

Even in a consensual relationship, any time a minor is involved, there is risk of being charged under California’s child pornography laws or molestation laws. Sending an explicit image to a minor could be considered a lewd act with a child.

Being the recipient of a nude photo does not protect you under the law. When a minor is involved, it could be considered possession of child pornography. In addition, asking a minor to send a suggestive or explicit photo could result in criminal charges.

Since there are not specific sexting laws in California to protect teenagers, teenagers who are 18 or 19 could be charged with serious sex crimes if they are in a consensual relationship with a slightly younger teen.

California’s Revenge Porn Law

Sending pictures of anyone without their consent could fall under California’s revenge porn law. You could be charged with unlawful distribution and harassment. Each of these charges could result in jail-time and fines.

If a minor is involved, you could also be charged with the possession and distribution of child pornography, which would result in greater fines and jail-time.

What Are the Consequences of Sexting?

The consequences of sexting depend on the circumstances of the situation. Since California does not have designated sexting laws, sexting charges could fall under many different California laws.

Child pornography can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. A conviction could result in jail time and steep fines. However, being convicted of any child pornography crime will result in registering as a life-time sex offender.

Have You Been Charged With a Sex Crime in California?

A sex crime charge or allegation is very serious and could have life-long implications. Without sexting laws in California, sexting crimes can be difficult to understand. If you have been accused or charged with a sex crime in San Jose or the surrounding areas of Santa Clara County, please speak with our San Jose sex crime lawyer to discuss your situation.

Need a San Jose Sex Crime Defense Attorney?

Our San Jose sex crime attorney could help you understand the charges against you and help you develop the best defensive strategy for your situation. Contact the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich through our online form or call (408) 898-9653 for a free, confidential consultation.

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