“Sexting” refers to sending sexually explicit text messages or images through mobile technology. Sexting is not a crime in and of itself, but the act can lead to criminal charges, particularly if a person sends or possesses an image of a minor under the age of 18 or if he or she uses text messaging to solicit a minor or to make lewd or indecent proposals to a minor.
Oklahoma has strict obscenity laws, and teens in particular may not realize the far-reaching impact of sending a sexually explicit text message or MMS message through their cell phone or tablet. Not only does such an image become a permanent part of the world wide web, but it can make a person the target of bullying. In addition, a minor can face sex crime charges for sending a sexually explicit image, even if he or she is distributing an image of himself or herself.
State and federal child pornography laws prohibit sexualized images of minors under the age of 18. This age is a critical distinction, because it is two years older than the age of consent in Oklahoma. This means that a young person who is legally able to consent to sexual activity is unable to legally consent to appearing in nude, semi-nude, or sexual images and video. Anyone who makes, distributes, or possesses such an image may be charged in state or federal court.
If you are an adult accused of distributing obscene material to a minor, or if you are an adult or teen who has been accused of a sex crime as a result of sexting, it is imperative that you find experienced legal representation at once. Talking about your case, even in an attempt to “clear things up,” typically only muddles the case and gives prosecutors more evidence to convict you. Call an attorney at once.
There is no Oklahoma state law prohibiting “sexting,” as it is not a legal term. Rather, a person who engages in sexting with a minor may face any number of related sex crime charges.
Penalties associated with conviction of one or more of the above sexting-related offenses vary depending on the specific crime or crime with which the defendant is charged. However, maximum penalties include life in prison and lifetime sex offender registration.
Additionally, sexting between and among minors is addressed in the Oklahoma Juvenile Code in 10A O.S. § 2-8-221. Typically, it is a criminal misdemeanor, and penalties depend may upon the age and/or consent of the person depicted in the images and the number of people to whom the image was distributed.
If you are being investigated for involvement in sexting minors, or if you have been arrested, contact a criminal lawyer immediately. Even if you never laid a finger on a victim or coerced a minor into appearing in sexually explicit photos or videos, you can be held criminally liable for even possessing such images. Call Law Firm of Oklahoma to learn more about how we can help you.
“Sex” plus “texting” equals “sexting.” However, with innovations in technology and mobile apps, the term encompasses more than just lewd or explicit text messages. One app which has become known as a sexting app is SnapChat. Because the app allows an image to quickly expire and be deleted from the phone, people are using SnapChat to send sexually explicit images, feeling that evidence is erased in just seconds. Unfortunately, these people fail to realize that the images can still be recovered from the phone, leaving evidence of a sex offense. Furthermore, these images can quickly be distributed, making an impulsive, seemingly temporary sext available for further distribution and publication on pornographic web sites.
Forensic evidence can recover deleted files from cell phones, tablets, laptops, and more. Sending an image or keeping an image that has been sent can provide evidence for the prosecution, even if a defendant believes he or she has erased all traces of the image or file.
Private messages are never as “private” as one might believe.
Even with such evidence, there are defense options available which can bring a case to its best possible resolution. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and review of your case.
As a parent, you want what is best for your child. You want to protect him or her from the dangers of sexting, including tarnished reputation, regret, and criminal charges. If your child is facing criminal charges from sexting involvement, call to discuss defense options for your child.
If you are an adult who is charged with possession of child pornography, soliciting minors, distributing obscene materials to minors, or other related sex offenses for sexting a minor under the age of 18, act quickly to secure legal representation from a defense attorney with a proven record of successful sex crimes defense. Submit the confidential case review form found on this page or call (405) 608-4990 to schedule your free consultation.