With the increased availability of technology, it’s inevitable that juveniles in New Jersey and across the nation will push the boundaries of what’s acceptable and legal. One underage crime that has grown increasingly prevalent is sexting. Authorities are taking steps to deal with this before it becomes necessary to move these cases into the juvenile law system with the potential of a child pornography charge and other problems that a teen can face for violating the law. Juveniles are often ignorant as to what the law is and that they might be doing something illegal when they sext.
Sending explicit images is happening often just as cases in which teens are being arrested for this act are happening more and more frequently. One 15-year-old was arrested after posting a video on Facebook of himself in a sex act with a 13-year-old girl. Two 16-year-olds faced a child pornography charge after a boy sent naked pictures of his ex-girlfriend via cellular phone. An update to Megan’s Law made clear that a juvenile who was found to be sexting would be required to register in the state as a sex offender.
There is an attempt to differentiate between sex crimes in which the participants are coerced, forced or unwilling and those that are simply made due to not understanding what the laws are. One boy – age 16 – was arrested for child pornography because he acquired and shared images of children taking part in sexual acts. As technology advances, the juvenile law system and the legal system in general is trying to keep up with the times to better adjudicate the various infractions.
Juveniles and their parents need to understand how to deal with accusations and charges for sexting. In many cases, the juveniles could have their entire lives upended by a simple mistake. Problems getting into the college of their choice or getting a job can be negatively influenced by this level of charge. This is why it’s imperative to lodge a strong defense with assistance from a qualified legal professional before the situation with juvenile crimes spirals and gets out of hand.