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    New Canaan Sexting Lawyer

    A “sexting” charge levied against a minor is not quite as severe as certain sex crime charges against adults, but they can still result in serious consequences. By seeking help from an experienced New Canaan sexting lawyer, you could give yourself and your child much better chances of getting through this unfortunate situation while minimizing long-term repercussions.

    When Is “Sexting” Illegal?

    “Sexting”—or the exchange of sexually explicit photos or videos with someone else through some kind of electronic communication system—is perfectly legal in Connecticut so long as everyone involved in the exchange is a consenting adult. However, if someone under the age of 16 takes a photo of themselves in a state of undress and/or engaging in any kind of sexual conduct, they have created child pornography as defined by the Connecticut Penal Code, and anyone under 18 who knowingly receives and retains such an image sent to them willingly by the depicted minor has likewise committed a child porn possession offense.

    Fortunately, state legislators in Connecticut took steps in recent years to differentiate between adults knowingly trafficking material created by exploiting children and teenagers making ill-advised decisions that may cause them serious harm later in their lives in the Penal Code. As a result, the two actions mentioned above—sending a “sext” as a person under 16 to a person under 18 and receiving a “sext” from a person under 16 as a person under 18—are addressed separately from other child porn charges under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-196h.

    It is worth emphasizing, though, that this charge applies exclusively to minors by definition. As a New Canaan sexting attorney can affirm, any adult who knowingly solicits and/or possesses a “sext” sent to them by someone under 16 will almost certainly be prosecuted for felony child porn possession and potentially other crimes related to the sexual exploitation of children.

    Minimizing the Consequences of a Sexting Charge

    If the teen is prosecuted as an adult for violating C.G.S. § 53a-196h, they could face maximum penalties of up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines since this offense is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor. In practice, though, “sexting” charges against minors are almost always treated as juvenile offenses and handled in juvenile court, where an “adjudication of guilt” could result in much less severe penalties such as a smaller fine, probation, or potentially just a formal warning.

    That said, having any kind of juvenile offense on their record can still have a negative effect on a child’s options for school and work in the future, as well as on their public and private reputation. For this reason, among many others, it is often prudent to seek help from a qualified defense lawyer when dealing with sexting allegations in New Canaan.

    Talk to a New Canaan Sexting Attorney About Protecting Your Legal Rights

    While sexting between teenagers is certainly not prosecuted as harshly as the exchange of child pornography between adults, it can still result in significant legal trouble and potentially have a serious impact on a young person’s professional and educational options in the future. Working closely with a qualified New Canaan sexting lawyer from the Law Offices of Mark Sherman is vital to avoiding that kind of impact and ensuring that one small mistake does not have an overinflated effect on your kid’s future. Call us today to schedule a confidential consultation, and click here to read some of our past reviews.