A common practice among teenagers is “sexting”, the codified term used to describe the exchange of inappropriate text messages, typically involving nude photos. Any teenager caught participating in sexting could be charged with a felony, often resulting in harsh penalties. New state laws seek to reduce the severity of sexting so that the crime will no longer potentially affect a teenager for the rest of her or his life.
With the new state laws, teenagers caught sexting will instead receive a noncriminal citation. The alleged offender will be required to pay a fine of $600 in addition to performing community service and taking an eight-hour online class if he or she wishes to clear the violation.
The new laws allow law enforcement officers the option to educate an offender and discourage sexting, without the serious legal ramifications typically associated with it that involve jail time, probation, or perhaps even being registered as a sex offender. The new laws can instead focus on being a teachable moment.
Should a teenager be charged a second time with sexting, he or she will face a misdemeanor criminal charge. Only a third violation will come with the risk of a felony charge. It’s important to note that this sexting law applies exclusively towards juveniles sharing nude photographs.
This update is brought to you by Miami criminal lawyer Monica Benitez. For information on Criminal or DUI defense, call 786-LAW-FIRM (786-529-3476) in Miami-Dade County or 954-LAW-FIRM (954-529-3476) in Broward to speak with a Miami criminal attorney.