Technology continues to grow in popularity and use throughout the nation – and not just in young adults. Teenagers are no stranger to technology and many have grown up with a cell phone in their front pocket or backpack. It is therefore no surprise that technology is often intertwined with young relationships – serving as a main source of communication and, in many cases, a main source of emotional and even sexual connection.
This has led to a new phenomenon known as "sexting" – a term that was coined in the Sunday Telegraph Magazine in 2005 to describe the behavior of America's youth. It has since, however, grown to cover much more than America and countries such as England, Australia and Canada report that they have a similar phenomenon growing with their own adolescents.
To look deeper in the how many youth are actually involved in this type of behavior, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy joined forced with CosmoGirl.com to hold a survey that ended up surveying over 1,200 people. The result? It was found that over 20% of the teenagers surveyed (between the ages of 13 and 20) had sent a nude of semi-nude photo and that over 39% had sent explicit text-based messages.
This and other studies have sent legislators scrambling to find laws that will properly discourage this type of behavior, as well as to properly punish those who are involved. Currently, those who send these messages are facing criminal charges of distributing child pornography and those who received the messages are facing possession charges.
To address this, California is currently addressing SB919 that, if passed, would allow for school administrators to take the proper disciplinary actions. This would allow for schools to address the situation, rather than slapping the children with felony charges relating to pornography for a simple mistake made in adolescence.
At Okabe & Haushalter, we strongly believe that "sexting" – while not advisable – should not leave a juvenile suffering from criminal charges. If you have a child that has been criminally charged for sexting or another sexual offense, it is highly encouraged that you do not hesitate to contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney from our legal team as soon as possible.
We have extensive experiencing handling the criminal process and know the best steps to take in our efforts to protect our client. Should you choose to contact a Los Angeles sex crime defense lawyer from our firm, you will be able to be confident knowing that you will have an advocate on your side fully prepared to go the distance for you. We know what is at stake and will do everything possible to help you obtain the best possible outcome – no matter whether this is for a successful verdict, reduced penalties or dismissed charges. Call today.