Texting can be a little too easy and nearly instantaneous. If you are angry or otherwise impaired, there isn’t much standing between you and your own bad judgment. So you hit send on that ill-advised message and the next thing you knew, the police were at your door.
In Illinois, you sext when you send messages or use obscene, lewd or immoral language with the intent to offend by means of the telephone. Your intent to offend can be inferred from your use of obscene, lewd or immoral language. (See Illinois Transmission of Obscene Messages Law).
A first sexting offense is a Class B Misdemeanor. However, later offenses can be charged as a Class A Misdemeanor with a minimum of 14 days in jail. Under certain circumstances, sexting may become a Class 4 felony, for example, if you threatened to kill the victim, you were on probation at the time, or you had 3 or more similar violations within a 10 year period. Further, it is a Class 4 felony if you, as an adult, sext someone under age.
If you have been charged with sexting, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most crimes, the state must prove all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Can the state prove that you intended to offend? Was the language you used truly lewd or obscene? Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.
If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)