Sexting can lead to charges in Virginia
Due to increasing globalization and use of technology, cell phones and other wireless communication devices have become popular, especially among teens. Being in the young and aggressive phase of life, teens have been in practice of sending nudes or sexually explicit content in form of texts or pictures. This act of exchanging nude content with each other is known as sexting. Sexting cannot only have a negative impact on the teens but it can be a root cause of cyberbullying and other sexual crimes. Taking part in sexting is a dangerous activity for both, adults and teens, therefore the majority of states have formed multiple laws and penalties to protect them from engaging in sexting and its negative aftereffects.
Understanding Sexting in Virginia
According to the definition of Virginia court, Sexting is an act of sending explicit content in form of pictures or texts to another person. Although, Sexting itself in Virginia is not an illegal or punishable act, however, if a person would involve or promote child pornography and sexting by depicting any minor would lead to criminal charges.
Dealing with Child Sexting charges and penalties in Virginia
While each state reacts differently to sexting and child pornography law, Virginia court punishes the involved parties for sexting and distributing the child pornography. Virginia law has strictly passed laws against holding or distributing child pornography and categorized it as felony 6 crime. The holding and distribution of child pornography is such a serious crime under Virginia laws, that at times concern adults who are forwarding the nude image of any minor to their parent is also convicted for committing a crime. The concerned adults are not even aware of the fact that their involvement and keeping such pictures can lead them to 5 years of imprisonment. If they distribute the pictures, it can cause them a minimum five years to maximum twenty years of imprisonment.
Whereas, if anyone is found taking nude pictures of any minor, he/ she is also convicted of punishment. Though the punishment differs with the age of the person:
- If a child is 15 years old or under 15, he/she faces the penalty of five to thirty years of imprisonment
- If the child is above 15 and under 18 years old, he/ she is subject to one to twenty years of imprisonment
- If the age gap between the child and the offender is more than seven years, the punishment given by the Virginia court increases further
- If the child pornography is followed by cyberbullying, the offender is subject to additional 1 year of imprisonment.
Dealing adult sexting charges and penalties in Virginia
However, the court would treat both, teen sexting and adult crimes, differently. If an adult is involved in sexting with a teen, he/she would be penalized differently. The adults above the age of 18 are dealt differently, as the court of Virginia does not penalize adults for sexting. However, sexting can lead to multiple other criminal offenses, as once an adult has shared their nude image, the content is exposed to virtual media. These sexting attitudes include stalking others, displaying porn to children who are under 18 or taking part in indecent exposure in public places. These crimes are strictly penalized by Virginia court.