Connecticut Criminal Consequences of Teen Sexting
Youth in every society, from the beginning of time, have pushed boundaries, and explored their sexuality. Today’s teenagers are no different. But, the consequences of their actions can now be recorded and distributed through smart phones and published on the web for the world to see. Connecticut has developed a set of laws to deal specifically with youth under age 18 who engage in sexting.
Sexting and Child Pornography
The law in Connecticut makes it illegal for anyone under 18 and at least 13 years old to possess or transmit sexually explicit images, through a computer or mobile phone, of anyone between the ages of 13 and 16 years old. Here are some examples of how the law works:
- A 17-year old takes naked picture of her 15 year old boyfriend with her phone. She has committed a crime.
- If a 14 year old boy takes a naked selfie and sends it to his 14 year old girlfriend, he has committed a crime and the girlfriend may also have committed a crime.
This crime is called Possessing or Transmitting Child Pornography by a Minor, and is a Class A misdemeanor.
If a teenager is over the age of 18 and engages in any of the same activities, it is a felony. Depending on the circumstances of the case, such as the ages of the children and the number of images, the crime can be a Class B, C, or D felony.
While Connecticut has less harsh consequences for teen sexting than more traditional child pornography laws, sexting may also violate federal law, where the penalties can be very harsh.
Juvenile Court System
In Connecticut, someone under the age of 18 will usually be dealt with in the juvenile justice system instead of the adult criminal justice system. In juvenile court, the goal is supposed to be to correct behavior that poses a risk to the child or to others. However, just because someone is charged in juvenile court does not make the matter any less severe. The consequences may still impact the child’s life far beyond his or her 18th birthday.
It is important anyone charged with a crime or in the juvenile justice system meet with a lawyer as soon as possible.
If your child has been accused or charged with a crime or placed in the juvenile justice system, contact an experienced and knowledgeable Stamford criminal defense lawyer. The longer you wait to get help the worse things may get. Call the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 to schedule your consultation today.