Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.
Call Us: 703-359-7111

According to Virginia law, anyone who sends or receives sexually explicit photos or videos of a minor may be charged with a felony. As the law currently stands, even teenagers who willingly send and receive "sexts" from other teenagers, could be charged with dissemination and possession of child pornography. Currently, in cases involving "sexting" amongst minors, prosecutors only have two options: do nothing or bring felony charges against a minor, who will be permanently labeled as a felony sex offender if convicted.

However, a new bill that passed in the Virginia Senate gives prosecutors a third option: to charge minors who send sexual images to another minor with a Class 1 misdemeanor, as long as the minor did not intend to harass or intimidate or extort money. If convicted, the minor could face up to a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.

If the minor had less than 10 images with the permission of the person in the photos, they may face a lighter charge of Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. First time offenders may only face six months of probation and 50 hours of community service. The bill will soon proceed to the House of Delegates.

If it passes, this new bill may protect minors from having a felony conviction on their record for behavior that does not necessarily fit under the umbrella of "child pornography." Some argue that the new law as written could end up criminalizing possession of pornography by a minor, whether or not it features a minor. Others say that the new law may result in more minors facing criminal charges for things that their parents could easily punish at home. In any case, if the law passes, it could help many minors avoid a felony conviction and severe penalties.

Source: The Washington Post, "'Sexting teens could avoid felony charges under bill that clears Va. Senate," Laura Vozzella, Feb. 5, 2018

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
EMAIL US FOR A RESPONSE

Contact An Experienced Manassas Personal Injury Or DWI/DUI Lawyer

The firm offers a free consultation to review the facts of your case and recommend the best steps to take. Call 703-359-7111 or toll free 800-823-1127, or contact the offices by email to arrange an initial free consultation with our Fairfax criminal defense lawyers.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Locations

Fairfax Office
10505 Judicial Drive, Suite 203
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Toll Free: 1-800-823-1127
Phone: 703-359-7111
Fax: 703-543-5478
Fairfax Office Map

Manassas Office
9300 W. Courthouse Rd., Suite 204
Manassas, Virginia 20110

Toll Free: 1-800-823-1127
Phone: 703-359-7111
Fax: 703-543-5478
Map & Directions

Call/Fax