Many laws throughout the country, both on the state and federal levels, were written hundreds of years ago when much of today’s technology did not exist. The United States in 2020 is a completely different world from the United States hundreds of years ago when things like the Internet and smartphones did not exist. Although these technologies have made our lives easier, they have also posed some interesting problems from a legal standpoint. One such problem is called “sexting” and is rather popular among the nation’s teenagers. According to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, one in seven teens admitted to sending a sexually explicit photo, video or message, while one in four teens admitted to being the recipient of one. Sexting may seem innocent, but explicit photos and videos can easily turn into a tool for others to use to bully or harass. Sexting is also considered a crime in Illinois when it is conducted between minors, which can lead to criminal charges.

What Is Sexting?

The word “sexting” is a mashup of the two words “sex” and “texting,” and refers to the electronic sending or sharing of sexually explicit images, videos, or texts. The subject of the images does not have to be fully exposed and can be partially exposed to be considered explicit. These images or videos can be shared through text messages or even through apps such as Snapchat or WhatsApp.

What Are the Penalties for Sexting?

When adults share explicit images of themselves, they might be embarrassed. If minors share an explicit image of themselves or someone else, they could be facing serious criminal charges. Previously, Illinois did not have any statues pertaining to sexting or how to handle minors who partook in the activity. Now, Illinois has created a way for minors who have shared explicit images of other minors to be adjudicated and receive supervision through the juvenile court system, rather than face more serious charges. As a result of being adjudicated, minors would face community service and/or counseling and other supportive services.

However, even if minors are adjudicated through the juvenile court system, they can still be charged with much more serious crimes through the adult criminal justice system depending on their specific situation. Other possible criminal charges could include child pornography, disorderly conduct, public indecency, harassment, obscenity, or any other charge that a judge sees fit.

Contact a Rolling Meadows, IL Criminal Defense Attorney 

Sex crimes are some of the most controversial and stigmatic crimes out there. If you or your child has been charged with sexting or any kind of sex crime, you should immediately contact an Arlington Heights, IL sex crimes defense lawyer who will fight for your rights and protect your interests. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law knows how serious sex crime sentences can be and will do everything in his power to avoid a conviction. Call our office today at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation. 

 

Sources:

https://www.isba.org/ibj/2010/04/sextingitsnojokeitsacrime

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/070504050K3-40.htm

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2673719