What is Sexting and When Does It Become a Crime?
Sexting is the act of sending or receiving nude or sexually explicit images or video through an electronic device such as a phone or computer. While largely attributed to teens and younger adults, the popularity and accessibility of electronic devices and smartphones has resulted in sexting even amongst older adults. Sexting is often consensual between two parties in a couple. Some situations, however, can make sexting a criminal act.
Sexting can very easily cross over into criminal activity in the right circumstances. The main concerns for sexting are not unlike the physical, real-life versions of sex crimes. Here are some situations in which sexting is illegal:
The act of sharing nude photos without a person’s consent on a mass or minor scale. This can fall under New Jersey’s laws regarding invasion of privacy. This can carry a penalty with a fine as high as $30,000.
Sending sexually explicit images or video to a non consenting party, be it intentionally or unintentionally, can be classified as lewd behavior or sexual harassment.
Sending or receiving sexually explicit photos form a minor can be classified as child pornography. This charge often happens even among younger couples with a very small age difference, often teens, but can happen to people of all ages.
There are many ways that sexting can go wrong. While it is generally harmless, if caught on the wrong end of a misunderstanding, simply sending the wrong message to the wrong recipient could land a person with a severely damaged record and reputation.
If you or someone you know is facing charges related to sexting, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who could help. Contact the law office of John W. Tumelty to schedule your case consultation. Call 609-390-4600 or contact online today.