Texting has become one of the most popular ways of communicating with one another. When it comes to romantic relationships, texting that involves sending and receiving sexually charged messages and images of each other is known as “sexting.”
While sexting among adults is perfectly legal, such communication between teens may lead to criminal penalties. Florida is one of the states that have specific laws that address sexting, while many other states do not have such legislation and ultimately punish sexting among minors like child pornography.
In Florida, the first violation for sexting between persons younger than 18 years old is a noncriminal citation, which carries a maximum fine of $60, up to eight hours of community service, participation in a cyber-safety program. However, a minor can also challenge the citation in court. If a minor fails in contesting the citation, the court may order any of the three options. If the minor does not respond to the citation, he/she will be ordered to appear in court and – if found in contempt – may serve additional penalties, including driver’s license suspension.
A second violation is a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail term of one year and a fine of no more than $1,000. A third or subsequent violation is a third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Keep in mind, minors will only be subject to these consequences if they are caught knowingly sending and receiving a nude image. If the photo or video involves a minor engaging in sexual conduct, then transmission of such material is considered child pornography.
Electronic transmission of child pornography is a third-degree felony in Florida. Only adults who are convicted of this crime will be subject to registration as a sex offender, while juveniles are not required to register.
If you were recently charged with a sex crime in Miami, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez, P.A. today at (305) 400-0074 for a free initial consultation.