In an age where everyone has a smartphone, texting has become a primary means of communication, and with it, “sexting” has gained popularity. Sexting is defined as “the sending of sexually explicit digital images, videos, text messages, or emails, usually by cell phone.”
Sexting can take place via text, direct messages (DMs), or messenger apps and is no longer taboo. In fact, 88% of adults said they have sexted in the past year, according to a recent survey. But is sexting a crime? A sex crimes attorney in St. Petersburg and Clearwater can help you navigate the pitfalls of sexting and understand when, or if, sexting is a crime.
When is Sexting a Crime?
The short answer to this question is that as long as both parties are consenting adults, sexting is not illegal. Sending an adult unsolicited images of another adult’s sexual organs is also not illegal in the State of Florida.
The longer answer is that, while sexting is not a crime between adults, it can be a crime if the images exchanged are later shared publicly as a form of romantic revenge. Florida is one of 38 states with laws against non-consensual sharing of images that are sexual or explicit in nature. Although it is a felony in many states, in Florida romantic revenge image sharing or posting “revenge porn” is a misdemeanor. The State must prove that the images were shared with malicious intent. If you are accused of sharing explicit images maliciously, it is important that you contact a sex crimes attorney in Clearwater or St. Petersburg to discuss your rights and the best course of action.
Minors and Sexting
In Florida, the age of consent is 18 years old. However, if an adult engages in sexting with a minor and receives nude or sexual photos it can be considered possession of child pornography. This charge can incur thousands of dollars in fines and a felony charge, as well as a prison sentence and registration as a sex offender.
Sexting between two minors may also result in criminal charges, however it is made worse if the photos are distributed. Distributing sexual photos of a minor is likewise a child pornography offense.
What Should You Do if Accused of a Sex Crime?
If you’ve been accused of a sex crime, it’s absolutely essential that you consult a sex crimes attorney in Clearwater to maintain your innocence and avoid punishment. Individuals convicted of a sex crime not only have to contend with strict sentencing penalties but also the potential of being registered as a sex offender or sexual predator for the rest of their life.
It is vital to work with an attorney who strongly believes that every individual is innocent until proven guilty, and who will fight tooth and nail until a final result is reached. Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan have a deft understanding of what is truly at stake when an individual is accused of a sex crime as well as the best defenses to utilize in seeking to get clients’ charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
If you have been charged with a sex crime, we cannot stress enough the seriousness of this allegation. In order to ensure that your case results in the best possible outcome, our attorneys will closely assess the circumstances of your case, answer any questions, and offer you knowledgeable legal advice.
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.