COMIC: Is Sexting Legal for Minors?
Panel 1: A concerned round character is looking at a large cell phone in front of them. A word bubble above their head says: “I’m a minor. Is it illegal for me to send nude images?”
Panel 2: A pile of cell phones with color on them are splayed on the page. Lines are emanating from them as if photos or texts are being sent from them. The text says: “TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, text message, Discord … What if you use one of these to send a nude to someone else? Did you know that could be against the law?
Panel 3: Four round characters, all holding cell phones, are standing in a line. They are all in a state of shock at this information, as indicated by the exclamation points above each of their heads. The text says: “Here’s what you should know about sexting laws."
Panel 4: The text says: “In all states, it’s illegal for minors to” and then the rest of the sentence is finished under each individual drawing. “Create” appears under a character taking an image of themselves with a phone. “Distribute” appears under a character holding a phone with lines that travel to another character holding a phone with an eager expression. “Or possess” appears under drawings of a photo reel on a phone or on Instagram archives. The text at the bottom reads: “sexual images of themselves or another minor.”
Panel 5: A round, bean-like character is laying on their stomach with their legs floating, texting on their phone. The character, wearing an incredulous expression, is looking at the user saying in a text bubble, “My texts could get me into trouble?!” The text says: “Some states even have laws that make ‘sexting’ a crime.”
Panel 6: On the left, behind bars, is a cloud-like blob character sitting sadly on a bench. On the right is that same character standing behind a list that says “sex offenders in this area.” The text says: “Minors can even be prosecuted under a state’s child pornography laws, where the consequence could be jail time or a future as a registered sex offender.”
Panel 7: The same blob character is seen taking an ambiguous selfie. The text says: “Sexting is usually a misdemeanor and occurs when a minor knowingly (this word is placed above the thought bubble that says “I’m doing this on purpose!”) uses a computer or electronic device to send photos that show nudity.” The rest of the sentence is positioned to match up with the drawing of the phone, the lines that show a message is being sent, and the image that is being sent.
Panel 8: A new rounded character is shown holding a phone with different social media and ambiguous selfies. The text says: “‘Possession of Sexually Explicit Digital Material’ occurs when a minor purposefully creates, produces, distributes, presents, transmits, posts, exchanges, disseminates, or possesses through a computer, wireless communication device, or digital media, any sexually explicit material."
Panel 9: One rounded character is seen photographing another. Lines are coming out of the cell phone and the character being photographed has no mouth and looks shy. The text says: “If the sexually explicit digital material is of another minor, a teen could also be charged with possessing child pornography, a felony."
Panel 10: The same blob character is holding a cell phone with an ambiguous selfie on it. The character is saying, “But it only lasts for ten seconds!” The text says: “And don’t assume that ‘vanish’ or ‘ghost’ mode will help you avoid these laws. Law enforcement may be able to retrieve them legally." Visit FindLaw.com, where you can find attorneys near you and read about the law.”
- Is Sexting Illegal for Teens? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- VIDEO: Is Sexting Illegal for Teens? (FindLaw's TikTok Account)
- Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer Near You (FindLaw's Legal Directory)
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