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Sexting may lead to child pornography charges for minors

Often people discover their sexuality during their teenage years. It is perfectly normal and healthy for teens to find outlets of sexual expression. However, some forms of sexual expression can prove ill-advised. In fact, a teen may even face sex crime charges for certain behavior.

One of the newer ways in which people are sharing intimate dialog and images is called "sexting." Typically, this data is communicated via smart phones, cell phones and computers. And while those who engage in this practice may believe that they are doing so on a private basis, it is all too easy for the contents of such transmissions to go to parties beyond those for whom it was intended.

At present, very few laws exist that specifically address the act of sexting. But those who send and receive pictures of minors photographed while nude or in explicit poses could be seen as violating child pornography laws. This means if a minor is caught in possession of such photos that were exchanged in the act of sexting, he or she may be in jeopardy of being charged for possession of child pornography.

At this point, it is often at the discretion of a prosecutor to decide if a minor caught with illicit images gleaned while sexting should receive child pornography charges. Further, different jurisdictions may take different approaches in dealing with the issue.

But as it stands, it is possible for a minor to be charged with a sexual offense related to sexting. Conviction for a sexual offense can have serious long-term consequences. Therefore, if your child ever receives charges related to sexting, he or she could benefit from the representation of a New Jersey sex crimes attorney. The attorney could work on your child's behalf and may be able to help protect his or her future prospects.

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