Sending sexually explicit texts and images of minors is serious offense. In fact, legislation regarding sexting has been around since 2001 in Texas. If you are an adult charged with sexting and/or child pornography, you could be facing significant criminal penalties. Juveniles can face charges for sharing explicit images, too. Without competent defense attorneys by your side, your freedom and reputation may be at stake.
What are the penalties for sexting in Texas?
Minors arrested for sexting in Texas face Class C misdemeanor charges, and the following penalties:
- Up to one year of jail time
- Fines up to $4,000
- Community service up to 200 hours
- Mandatory attendance at a sexting educational program
- Confiscation of cell phone or other electronic device by police
- A criminal record
Adults arrested for sharing sexually explicit images of a minor or sexting with a minor may face additional child pornography charges. Furthermore, depending on the circumstances of the case, offenders may be prosecuted under The Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003. Under this federal law, it is illegal to produce, distribute, receive, or possess with intent to distribute any obscene visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Sex offender registry
If you are an adult convicted of sexting with a minor or another sex crime, you may be required to register as a sex offender. This alone can wreak havoc on your professional and personal lives. You’ll be required by law to notify police any time you move, your name will be part of a public database and there may be restrictions on where you can live and work. Everyone – friends, family and the general public – can learn you are a registered sex offender.
A skilled San Antonio attorney is your best defense against these serious penalties.