One of the uncomfortable episodes of parenthood is having “the talk” about sex with their teenager. Studies show that having an open and honest talk about sex with your child has a positive impact on teen behavior. However, with the near-universal use of smartphones by teens, the conversation takes on another dimension – sexting.
In the state of Georgia a child the age of 16 or older can legally have consensual sex. However, by sending an explicit image to their partner that same child could face serious legal consequences.
Prior to 2013, charges against children that sent or received explicit images would be prosecuted as a felony. Under current Georgia law, children that create or possess explicit images are subject to a misdemeanor, provided that the following conditions are met.
- the person depicted in the image was older than 14 when taken
- the person in possession of the image is 16 or younger
- the person depicted in the image gave consent
Even if these conditions are met, if the child is alleged to have acted to harm someone or make a profit on the images then a felony could be charged.
Teenagers should take great care with what photos they decide to send over the internet or text. Even a misdemeanor charge is serious and could result in fines, community service, loss of educational opportunity, and other undesirable consequences. Parents and guardians are well-advised to talk to their teens about sexting. If your child is facing accusations of sexting, call Georgia Children’s Defense, LLC. today at 404-477-4294, or sign up for a Free Consultation, to discuss your case with an experienced Juvenile Defense expert.