Florida and Sexting Laws

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Sexting in the digital age has grown in popularity. The transmission of sexually explicit images or videos over text messages or other electronic devices is not uncommon, and while some may mean it as an innocent act or a joke. There are legal consequences for committing this act.

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Florida Sexting Law Explained

The law of sexting is significantly divided by age.

● Adults and Sexting
1. If a consenting adult sends an image or video of themself to another consenting adult, then there is no crime. This consent must be explicit, and both parties must be aware of the true age of their texting partner.

2. If an adult sends an image or video of another, who has not consented to the dissemination of the image or video, to another individual, this is illegal. The sender and the recipient may be charged with sexual cyberharassment.

3. If an adult sends or receives an image or video of a minor (an individual under the age of 18), regardless of consent, this is illegal. An adult found to be committing these acts is participating in child pornography and will be charged with a third-degree felony.

● Minors and Sexting
According to the law, anyone under the age of 18 may be charged with sexting if the perpetrator knowingly sends images or videos depicting sexual conduct or nudity to another minor, regardless of consent. Additionally, possession of these materials could result in criminal charges as well. The only defense against these charges is if:

1. The teen did not solicit or ask for the photo or video.

2. The teen does not forward the photo or video to a third party.

3. The teen took steps to report the receipt of the photo or video to a parent, school official, or law enforcement authority.

In addition to Florida state law, several federal laws regulate the act of sexting to make it illegal to possess or distribute obscene images of a minor.


Consequences of Sexting

● Consequences for Adults
Adults who are guilty of their first offense of sexual cyberharassment face being charged with a first-degree misdemeanor which could be accompanied by a fine and/or jail time. However, any subsequent offense could result in a third-degree felony with harsher punishments. 
Adults guilty to child pornography will be charged with a third-degree felony. If convicted, the individual could face up to 5 years imprisonment, a maximum fine of $5,000 for each illegal material of a minor that is depicted in the material, and a position on the sex offender registry.
● First Offense for Minors
Minors suspected of sexting can be cited as a noncriminal violation. While they may avoid juvenile court, they will be required to complete approximately 8 hours of community service hours, pay a fine of up to $60, and be assigned to complete a class on the dangers of sexting. If the minor fails to comply with the citation, it could result in additional penalties. 
● Subsequent Offenses for Minors
A minor who has been previously cited for a sexting offense would result in a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries approximately a one-year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. However, if this has been committed repeatedly, the minor will face a third-degree felony with offenses similar to adult charges of child pornography, including the potential of being added to the sex offender registry.

Tips For Protecting Your Minor

The best way to protect your minor is to be aware of the laws and make them also be aware. Get educated. Ensure you and your minor both understand every aspect of the law and how it could affect you and your teen.

Did you know 1 in 5 teens has engaged in sexting? Talk to your teen and ensure that they are not the one. Make them aware of the consequences. Further, if your child receives a sext, ensure that they are aware that they can come to you and report it to the authorities. By talking to you, they can avoid being charged, and you can assist them in connecting with the proper officials who can resolve the problem.

If your child is sexting with an adult, contact law enforcement immediately.

49th Street Bail Bonds Wants to Help You!

If you or your teen finds themselves accused of sexting in Florida and facing charges, please call us at 727-592-0000 to start the bail bond process.

If you are challenged with getting a bail bond contact us today for help! 49th Street Bail Bonds provides bail for various charges, including drug trafficking, DUI, domestic violence, pornography, traffic violations, such as road rage and more.

At 49th Street Bail Bonds, our bail bond agents have extensive experience and knowledge. You can depend on them to guide you through the bail bond process. You can ask them questions concerning the criminal justice system, get help with paperwork, and learn more about the bail bond process.

49th Street Bail Bonds serves all of Pinellas County. In addition to Clearwater and Largo, we serve clients in St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Bay Pines, Tampa Bay, and Madeira Beach. 49th Street Bail Bonds is also on Facebook. Follow us today!

When in need call us at 727-592-0000.