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Sexting Laws

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Knowledgeable Columbus Defense Attorneys Explain Sexting Laws

Traditional legislation and digital behavior

In many court cases, precedents are set because official legislation has not caught up with the latest technology. Nowhere is that more prevalent than with the advent of camera phones and, as a result, sexting. At Yavitch & Palmer, we think it’s important to understand the nature of these crimes, who can be charged with them and the repercussions.

How does the state of Ohio define sexting?

This is an interesting and important question. Sexting is generally considered to be sending sexually explicit material to another via cell phones. In Ohio, sexting is an illegal act under the age of 18. Even if both participants were minors, it remains illegal to possess explicit photographs of someone who is underage or to show an underage person explicit material.

Who can be charged with a sexting violation?

Many minors think that, because they are creating an image of themselves, they cannot be charged with a cyber sex crime. Ohio’s criminal statutes regard material showing a minor in a state of nudity as child pornography.  Sending such material to another minor places both the sender and the recipient in violation of Ohio law, even if both are minors.

What are the penalties of sexting?

The short answer is that it depends on the circumstances of the case. If the prosecution chooses to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor, such as contributing to the delinquency of a minor, then the punishment may not be severe. However, a second-degree felony is punishable by up to eight years in jail, fines, mandatory registration as as ex offender and a criminal record.

If you or a loved one is charged with sexting, our Columbus defense attorneys can help

Set up a meeting with Yavitch & Palmer at our downtown Columbus office to discuss the charges and defense options. We make sure your case is treated responsibly and do everything in our power to keep it from being dragged out in a court battle. Call us today at 614-224-6142 or fill out our online contact form.

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