Juvenile Sexting

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New Sexting Bill Signed in Arizona Governor Brewer signed into law Senate Bill 1266 which makes sexting among juveniles a misdemeanor or petty offense depending on the circumstances. Juvenile sexting in Arizona is technically child pornography and can still be prosecuted as such. Child pornography has a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years prison per image. This new sexting law, however, gives prosecutors a lessor offense to charge so that juveniles don't end up in prison and don't end up as registered sex-offenders for a practice that is unfortunately not uncommon among teenagers. What is Sexting? Sexting is defined as using a means of electronic communication to transmit a visual depiction of a minor that depicts explicit sexual material. It is a crime to both transmit or possess such material. The statute protects the juvenile who didn't solicit the transmission and reports it to a parent. If the visual depiction isn't broadly disseminated (displayed to more than one person) then the offense is a petty offense under the law. Again, it is important to remember that even though the sexting may be treated as a misdemeanor or petty offense under this new statute, sexting still constitutes child pornography and at the discretion of the prosecutor may be charged as a serious felony.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Jeremy Geigle, Jackson White PC | Attorney Advertising

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