Yale Sexting Lawyer
While criminal charges specifically for sexting are relatively rare on college campuses, they do still come up from time to time, and guidance from a seasoned defense attorney can be vital to progressing past them proactively. If your child has been charged with violating state law by exchanging intimate images of themselves with another teenager, speaking with a Yale sexting lawyer should be your top priority.
How Does State Law Address Teenage “Sexting”?
It is not illegal in Connecticut for two adults to exchange sexually explicit photos or videos of themselves through electronic means. However, if both parties involved in a sexting exchange are minors, they may find themselves dealing with adjudication in juvenile court.
Connecticut state legislators carved out an exception to existing state statutes criminalizing possession and transmission of child pornography. This was meant to ensure that teenagers making ill-advised decisions were not punished as if they were adults consciously committing a felony offense. This exception for “sexting” between minors or “possessing or transmitting child pornography by a minor” is codified under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-196h as a Class A misdemeanor offense.
This statute applies when someone under 18 knowingly possesses a visual depiction of a minor under 16 years old engaged in sexual conduct that the depicted minor sent to them willingly and knowingly. Likewise, it is unlawful under the same statute for a minor under 16 to willingly and knowingly send a sexually explicit depiction of themselves to another minor under 18. In both situations, an essential component of the offense is that the exchange occurs “by means of an electronic communication device.”
Technically, this offense could be punishable by up to one year of jail time plus $2,000 in fines if prosecuted in adult criminal court. However, since only minors can be charged with this offense by definition, sexting charges are almost always handled in juvenile court. As a Yale sexting attorney can further explain, possible penalties typically run along the lines of a formal warning, small fines, and probation.
How Do You Minimize the Impact of a Sexting Charge?
While the immediate effects of a juvenile ruling of guilt for sexting might not seem severe at a glance, having a juvenile record of any kind can still have a negative impact on a young person’s future prospects. This is especially true if they are later found guilty of a subsequent juvenile offense. Contesting sexting allegations with help from a capable Yale attorney based on an evidence-supported argument that the alleged exchange did not actually happen is essential.
It is also worth noting that certain affirmative defenses against felony child porn possession charges can also be applied when appropriate to sexting charges. More specifically, if a young person never possesses more than two unlawful images, did not knowingly solicit them, and destroyed them after becoming aware of them, they cannot be convicted of any juvenile or adult criminal offense.
Seek Help from a Yale Sexting Attorney Today
Sexting between minors can put the young people involved at risk of being exploited by anyone who comes into possession of those images. Between that and the fact that state law makes this type of exchange a criminal offense, handling sexting accusations quickly and effectively is vital to preserving your child’s long-term interests.
A knowledgeable Yale sexting lawyer can provide custom-tailored support through your family’s legal proceedings. Click here to find out what past clients have to say about working with us, and call Mark Sherman Law today for a confidential consultation.