Social media has become very important in most people’s lives, but it has a special meaning to teenagers, who rely on it for everything from making plans to documenting their lives. However, when they use smart phones and other electronic devices to take photographs that involve full or complete nudity, then they may face serious charges.
Specifically, it has become almost commonplace for consenting adults to share photographs of each other in less-than-dressed states. Teenagers frequently do not realize that while it is fine, albeit in questionable taste, for adults to participate in this behavior, it may be illegal for them to do it, depending on the age of the person in the image. Many times, teenagers were getting caught up in laws meant to catch pornographers. As a result of this, they were subjected to extremely harsh penalties.
In 2013, Georgia enacted legislation that addressed this type of situation, where teenagers who were arrested on charges of sending images that might constitute pornography face less serious charges.
Sexual Exploitation of a Child
Under Georgia law, a teenager who created, developed, or otherwise possessed the image that is considered sexually explicit, whether of the person in possession or some other person, may be charged with only a misdemeanor if the following facts apply:
- The teenager being portrayed in the image is at least 14 years of age;
- The person who possessed the image was less than 18 years of age; and
- The person who was portrayed in the image affirmatively consented to the creation of the image as well as the distribution.
If the person being charged meets these parameters then he or she will not be charged with a felony, which would otherwise be the charge for creating a sexually explicit image of a minor.
Providing Obscene Material to a Minor via Electronic Means
A teenager who provides another minor with a sexually explicit image, such as sending a naked photograph to a girlfriend, may be charged with a misdemeanor if the following applies:
- The person who received the image is 14 years of age or older;
- The person gave consent before receiving the image; and
- The person who sent the image is under the age of 18.
There is a related law concerning the possession or furnishing of sexually explicit images on the computer. As long as the person in the image is at least 14 years old and the person in possession of the image is less than 18 years old, he only will face misdemeanor charges. However, if the person who is in possession of the image distributes it to others, then the crime will be charged as a felony offense, but only if these is a determination of malicious intent behind the distribution. If there are commercial purposes to the distribution of the image, then the more lenient laws will not apply.
The penalties for teenage sexting charges are far more lenient than those for adults charged with crimes involving the possession or distribution of images of children under 18 years of age. Therefore, it is critically important that a teenager charged with this type of crime is charged under the juvenile track as opposed to the adult track. Even when the person being charged is 18 years of age or older, it is imperative to have a zealous advocate with decades of experience defending clients in Georgia.
The Abt Law Firm, LLC. Aggressively fights for its Clients
The simple act of taking a picture of a girlfriend or boyfriend during or after an intimate moment with no intention to transmit that image may be enough to open someone up to criminal charges if the ages of the parties involved fall within a specific range. If you or your loved one faces these charges, it is crucial to get a tenacious and skilled attorney fighting for you right away. The Atlanta Criminal Defense Firm of the Abt Law Firm, LLC., representing clients throughout Georgia, can get the charges dismissed in many cases. In others, it is possible to negotiate down the charges to a misdemeanor and get the record expunged in accordance with Georgia law. If you do not want a criminal record, call us immediately at (678) 582-2272 and we can help. We offer free consultations and are ready to come to you in jail.