3 Times Sexting Becomes a Crime

As technology has evolved, so have the ways people communicate. Texting has become a popular form of communication, and texts of a sexual nature are often termed “sexting”. Sexting between two consenting adults is not illegal in the state of Florida. However, there are some instances when sexting may become a crime which can result in serious charges.

In this article, a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm shares three instances when sexting may lead to criminal charges. It is important to note, if you are accused of a crime of sexual nature, it is imperative that you contact an attorney immediately.

Sexting with a Minor

Sexting with a minor can lead to major issues and criminal charges at both the state and federal level as it may be considered child pornography.

In Florida, the age of consent for sexual acts is 18 years old. However, under Florida Statute 943.04354, the “Romeo and Juliet” provision allows a minor who is age 16 or 17 to legally consent to sexual activity with someone between the ages of 16 and 23. Despite the allowance of older minors to engage in sexual activity with adults under 24, if an adult between 18 and 23 engages in sexting with a minor and receives nude or sexual photos, it can be considered possession of child pornography.

Federal law considers child pornography anything below the age of 18, regardless of the age of consent in any given state. Additionally, the transmission of sexually explicit images sent between minors may also qualify as child pornography, although it may be punishable by a lesser sentence.

The charge of child pornography is among the most serious a person can face and is a federal felony. If you are facing child pornography charges, contact a child pornography attorney in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm immediately.

Taking Photos or Videos Without Consent

Taking photos or videos of someone that are sexual in nature without their consent is illegal and may result in criminal charges. There is a bit of a legal gray area when it comes to saving a screen capture of a photo that was sent to someone, for example, if someone sends you a nude photo on an app like Snapchat and you screencap and save the photo to view or share later, that may be a crime. If someone has accused you of taking a photo or video without their consent, an attorney will discuss the best way to protect yourself against these allegations.

Sharing Photos or Videos Without Consent

If a consenting adult shares a photo with you, that is not the same as giving consent to share that image or video online. In fact, the Sexual Cyberharassment Act (“Act”), enacted on October 1, 2015 as Florida Statute § 784.049 et seq., makes it a first-degree misdemeanor for a person to willfully and maliciously sexually cyber harass another person by sharing sexual photos of them online.

Furthermore, in May 2015, Florida became one of 26 states to criminalize the highly publicized issue known as “revenge porn” due to the increasing common practice of individuals publishing sexually explicit images of another individual over the Internet without the depicted person’s consent. Although sexting with the person may have been consensual and not of criminal nature, sharing them may lead down a dangerous road.

Do not attempt to handle these serious allegations on your own. Contact a criminal defense law firm in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm immediately to discuss the best defense and how to protect your rights. A free consultation with Anthony Rickman is just a phone call away.

For a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.


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