The proliferation of cell phones in our daily lives has introduced us to easy access to GPS maps, instant web browsing, and mobile payments. Another thing they’ve introduced the populace to is sexting. If you’re unfamiliar with sexting, it’s the sending of sexually explicit material using an electronic device, such as a phone, tablet, or computer. If you’re wondering whether it’s illegal to send explicit material, or you want to know if you could be charged with a felony for doing so, it’s important to know what Georgia law says about sexting.
There is no specific Georgia “sexting law,” but when the sexting involves someone under the age of 18, prosecutors and law enforcement typically get involved under child pornography and child exploitation laws. That means if two consenting adults engage in this activity, it’s completely legal. But it is a crime when one or more of the individuals is a minor under the age of 18 years or a child under the age of 16 years. If you need consultation regarding an investigation or charge involving sexting with a minor, reach out to Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm right away.
Let’s look at three scenarios to better understand whether you can be charged with a felony for sexting.
- Two minors sexting each other. Under Georgia law, the sending or receiving of sexually explicit material between two minors is illegal and can potentially bring felony charges. It does not matter if the activity is consensual. You could be charged with possessing or transmitting child pornography. It also does not matter if the material was asked for; simply having it in your possession is enough to break the law.
- An adult and minor sexting. There are multiple sex offense laws that address unlawful electronic communications and sex acts with children. Regardless of who instigated the sexually explicit conversation or who is depicted in the pictures, either party can be charged with misdemeanor or felony sex crimes.
- Possessing sexually explicit material of a minor. It is against Georgia law to knowingly possess or control any material that depicts a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Law enforcement does not care if you requested the material from the minor or not; if you keep the photos or videos on any device in your possession, then you are illegally in possession of child pornography.
Consequences for charges of child pornography and child exploitation can include sentences that range from 5 to 20 years in prison and fines as high at $100,000, not to mention the pain of being forced to register as a sex offender.
Call Our Experienced Attorneys at Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm
If you or a child of yours has been involved in a sexting case, do not speak with law enforcement until you have called us for assistance. Reach out to the experienced attorneys at Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm at 770-720-6336 for a complimentary Defense Strategy Meeting.