Greenwich Sexting Lawyer
While there is nothing illegal about adults exchanging sexually explicit photos of themselves with each other over the phone or computer, teenagers who engage in this sort of behavior have technically engaged in the creation and distribution of child pornography. The Connecticut Penal Code thankfully treats this scenario differently from those involving adults who know they are taking part in the exploitation of children, but dealing with criminal charges for “sexting” can still be different without guidance from an experienced defense attorney. Fortunately, you have help available from a Greenwich sexting lawyer with a track record of getting positive results from cases much like yours.
What Is Child Pornography?
The definition of “child pornography” set by C.G.S. §53a-193 applies here, so illicit material in this context includes any visual media depicting the uncovered intimate areas of a person under 16 and/or showing a person under 16 engaged in sexually explicit contact or intercourse.
Who Is Not Allowed to “Sext” Under State Law?
It is perfectly legal for consenting adults to share illicit photos. If either or both parties are minors, you get into criminal territory. Under Connecticut General Statutes §53a-196h, it is against the law for anyone under the age of 18 to possess or knowingly receive child pornography through an “electronic communication device”. It is also illegal for anyone under 16 to distribute child pornography via electronic means.
The most important element of this law is that it expressly defines visual depictions of child pornography created and/or distributed willingly by the depicted party as child pornography. This means that it does not matter whether a teenager knowingly sexted with another teenager—both parties may still be guilty of what technically constitutes a child pornography offense. A Greenwich sexting attorney could go into further detail about what state law does and does not prohibit in this regard.
What Are The Penalties For Sexting?
“Possessing or transmitting child pornography by a minor” is technically a class A misdemeanor by the letter of the law, a conviction for which in adult criminal court could lead to a maximum $2,000 fine and up to a year in jail. However, charges filed under C.G.S. §53a-196h almost always fall within the jurisdiction of juvenile courts, where an adjudication generally results in less severe sanctions like warnings, fines, and probation.
That being said, juvenile courts do have the authority to remand minors to up to 18 months of Department of Children and Family custody in extreme situations. Furthermore, a juvenile criminal record can still have a significant impact on a young person’s life even if they are never convicted of or even arrested for another offense again.
In light of that, working with a sexting attorney in Greenwich could make all the difference in what a minor’s life looks like after a case based around sexting charges concludes. Various defense strategies may be appropriate depending on the circumstances, potentially including one of the affirmative defenses to child pornography possession charges outlined in C.G.S. §53a-196g.
Contesting Sexting Charges on a Minor’s Behalf
Even if they have no prior criminal or juvenile record, a single conviction—or “adjudication of guilt” in juvenile court—can have serious repercussions for a young person’s personal and professional reputation, especially in terms of what jobs they can get and what schools they can attend. With that in mind, it is generally best to fight back against sexting allegations to the fullest extent possible, whether they are handled in juvenile court or not.
Often, this means establishing that one or more core elements of the charge as defined in the Penal Code was not present when the charge was initially filed—for example, the minor who sent the illicit image in question did not do so willingly, or the recipient did not knowingly possess the image. In certain situations, a sexting lawyer in Greenwich may even be able to help leverage the same affirmative defense to a sexting charge that can be applied to a child porn possession charge filed against an adult.
Talk to a Greenwich Sexting Attorney Right Away
Being charged with creating, sending, or receiving child pornography as a minor is a serious matter, even if it may not result in the felony-level repercussions that a conviction for the adult equivalent of this offense could lead to. On Avvo.com you can read why over 300 clients have left the attorneys at Mark Sherman Law 5-star reviews. Schedule a consultation with a Greenwich sexting defense lawyer and get started on your case.