Sexting Lawyer Pennsylvania

CHARGED WITH SEXTING IN PENNSYLVANIA

Have you or a family member been charged with a crime involving sexting? Unfortunately, with the prevalence of smart phones, sexting has become more common—especially among teenagers.

It is estimated that as many as 20% of teens have sent a “sext”, while one in four has received a “sext” or illicit email or text message.

It may not seem like the most harmful offense, however, being charged with a serious crime can have damaging consequences to any child’s future. Perhaps the sext was forwarded to people it was not intended to reach. Or someone else was using the phone to bully.

If you or your child is involved in or facing a sexting crime, it is important that you seek the help of a qualified Pennsylvania Sex Crimes attorney immediately. A person convicted of a sex crime could be put on a national registry of sex offenders, visible to anyone, that could later dictate where the convicted person can live and work.

An arrest is not a conviction.

Fighting your charges by finding an aggressive and experienced attorney to help prove your innocence and defend your rights is the first step.

Having sexting allegations against you is frightening. You do not want your child to start off their life with a criminal record or the social stigma of having committed a sex crime.

But you do not have to face the charges alone – Justin Ketchel is an experience Pittsburgh sex crime attorney who will work hard to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

He will give your case personal attention and be there every step of the way to answer your questions and prepare you for hearings or a trial.

 

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: TO HAVE YOUR SEXTING CHARGES DISMISSED

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

 

PENNSYLVANIA SEXTING LAWS DEFINED

WHAT IS SEXTING?

Generally speaking, sexting is defined as the sending or receiving of photos of a sexual nature via cell phone. They are typically nude or semi-nude photographs sent to a boyfriend or girlfriend.

In Pennsylvania, the images could include anything lewd or lascivious, such as the pubic region, genitals, buttocks and/or breasts. Basically, this includes any photo of any body part that is used for sexual stimulation and/or gratification can qualify.

IS SEXTING ILLEGAL FOR EVERYONE?

Sexting occurring between adults age 18 and over is generally not illegal. However, if a person forwards a sext to another without the permission of the original sender, or uses the sext to otherwise cause harm, they can be charged with harassment. If an adult sends lewd photos or videos to a child or of child or teenager, this could lead to a much more serious sex offense charge, like child pornography.

SEXTING AND MINORS

As of 2012, sexting is illegal for minors age 12-17. The PA law criminalizes transmission of sexually explicit images by minors.

Under 18 Pa. C.S. §6321, it is illegal for a teen to:

  • Knowingly share, distribute or publish electronic communications including a sexually explicit image of himself/herself;
  • Knowingly have possession of or view a sexually explicit image of a minor who is age 12 or older.

This means that the person sending the sext, as well as the person receiving the sext, have broken the law and both can be prosecuted. If a teen has shared a sexual image without permission, he/she is likely to face much harsher punishment.

It is important to note that this law does not apply to images of sexual intercourse, penetration, masturbation or any other hardcore sexual images. Images of such intensity would likely be prosecuted under child pornography laws with very strict penalties.

 

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: TO HAVE YOUR SEXTING CHARGES DISMISSED

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

 

PENALTIES FOR SEXTING IN PENNSYLVANIA

In PA, teen sexting cases are often handled in juvenile court. If it is a teen’s first offense and a simple sexting case, the teen will be charged with a summary offense.

A summary offense in PA carries a penalty of:

  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • Up to $300 in fines

For those cases prosecuted in juvenile court and as summary offenses, teens are often offered a diversionary program. If the teen completes all the requirements the court sets forth, which often involves education programs, as well as some probationary period, the charges will be wiped from their record.

Speak with a qualified PA Sex Crimes Attorney to see if this is an option for your child.

If a teen shares a sexually explicit image without permission, they can be charged with a third degree misdemeanor.

A third degree misdemeanor in PA carries a penalty of:

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to $2,500 in fines

If it can be shown that the teen shared the sexually explicit image for the purpose of harassing another teen, they can increase the charge to a second degree misdemeanor.

A second degree misdemeanor in PA carries a penalty of:

  • Up to 2 years in jail
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

Child Pornography Charges

A teenager can also be charged under child pornography laws if the sexually explicit images are more hardcore or the prosecutors feel their actions call for stricter punishment. In instances where a teenager is in possession of numerous sexual images or have the intent to distribute these images, child pornography laws can be used.

Child pornography laws carry some of the strictest penalties, including a potential minimum sentence of five years in jail and required registration on the sex offender registry.

Pennsylvania takes sexual imagery and children very seriously. Sexting can create a lasting effect on child’s reputation—not to mention more serious issues such as humiliation, bullying and depression.

 

PITTSBURGH SEX CRIME LAWYER

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: TO HAVE YOUR SEXTING CHARGES DISMISSED

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

 

FIGHTING SEXTING CHARGES IN PENNSYLVANIA

An arrest is not a conviction.

Being charged with a sex crime is frightening but can also be embarrassing. Regardless of innocence or guilt, the consequences of a conviction are a real threat to your freedom, rights and liberties.

It is best to seek the help of a skilled sex crimes attorney to help protect your future. There are several defenses to sex crimes and an experienced attorney can help you build a strong case.

Professional and social implications are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to facing prison time and a life long stigma of being known as a sex offender. The restrictions put on sex offenders are severe and can affect everything including where you can live and work.

If you are facing sexting charges it is important to hire an attorney right away and not talk to the police or prosecutors, even if you are completely innocent. Let an attorney do the talking.

At Ketchel Law, we understand the not everyone accused of a crime is guilty of a crime. There are two sides to every story.

We will take your case very seriously and work toward having your charges reduced or your case dismissed.

We will fully investigate all aspects of your case, examining all angles and gathering testimony and witnesses on your behalf. We will go over the charges and the procedures taken by law enforcement carefully. We will aggressively look for any evidence to build a strong case for you and discredit the alleged victim’s testimony.

If your case goes to trial, we will be by your side at every turn, to prepare you and your family for possible questioning and keep you informed so that together we can make the best decision for you and your family.

It is our goal to have your case dismissed and charges reduced and if that is not possible, we will fight aggressively to keep your name off of the national registry of sex offenders.

If you have been charged with a sex crime call Pittsburgh Criminal Attorney Justin J. Ketchel for a free consultation.

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FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION

We offer free legal consultations to anyone charged with a crime. Call us today to find out how we can help defend your rights.

Learn more about Ketchel Law and Sex Crime Laws in Pennsylvania:

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Call Ketchel Law now for a free legal consultation at 412-456-1221.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221

FREE CONSULTATION