"Sexting" May Lead to Criminal Consequences

The latest gossip, according to RadarOnline, is that the Tony Parker and Eva Longoria-Parker divorce stemmed from a lengthy "sexting" relationship Tony had with a former teammate's wife, Erin Barry. It is likely that Parker will join the ranks of other celebrities, such as Tiger Woods and Brett Favre, who have been enveloped in drama-filled sexting scandals.

Sexting, by all practical evaluations, has gained mainstream attention with these high-profile incidents. "Sexting" is the texting of sexually explicit or scandalous messages and pictures. For many seeking to cheat on a spouse or significant other, sexting provides a discreet way to communicate with another person.

An otherwise harmless text can get you into serious criminal trouble, especially if the picture text depicts a minor in a sexually-explicit manner.
You need an aggressive criminal defense lawyer on your side as soon as the police come knocking, or as soon after as possible.
Call Roberts Law Group in Raleigh today if your phone has been confiscated or searched for illegal material. Free, same day consultation. 919-521-4646 or contact our law firm online.

While the internal conflict caused by sexting in these relationships is great, as evidenced by the Parker-Longoria and Woods-Nordegren divorces, another large concern regarding sexting should be the legal consequences for sexting. Unknowingly opening a sexually explicit photo from an underage woman or man can lead to child pornography charges. Sexting a non-consenting person may lead to harassment allegations. These are just two examples of how sexting can create criminal charges.

The legal implications of explicit sexting may also entrap teens. According to a 2009 survey by the National Campaign to Support Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 20 percent of teens admit to sexting.

Prosecutors Use Texts in Criminal Prosecution

When a person is suspected of criminal activity, North Carolina police may seek a search warrant. Cell phones and cell phone records can often provide police with a wealth of information about a suspect, including evidence to be used in a criminal prosecution.

While those who send or receive "sext" messages often believe that their communications are private, if the police have suspicion that illegal acts are occurring, a search warrant may permit the police to search the phone and phone records.

Throughout the country, suspects often learn the hard way that text messages can be used in criminal prosecutions for sex crimes. According to the North Carolina News & Observer, the following examples are just a handful of the hundreds of cases throughout the U.S. that involve sexting:

  • An 18-year-old man was convicted of distributing obscene materials in Iowa when he sent a 14-year-old girl a picture of his genitals.
  • An 18-year-old man was charged with distributing child pornography after he sent a nude photo of his 16-year old girlfriend to dozens of people.
  • A 14-year old girl was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography in New Jersey after posting sexually explicit photos on MySpace.

Anyone who sends or receives sexually explicit photos or messages from an underage teen, has reason to be concerned. A child pornography charge can lead to a lifetime on the sex offender registry, in addition to jail time, fines and serious reputation damage.

Sexting is a dangerous gamble. With the advancements of modern technology, it is not known how far beyond the intended recipient a text message will go. Tony Parker, Tiger Woods and Brett Favre are only celebrity examples of the reputation damage sexting can cause. In all circumstances, it is urged that sexting be avoided because of the large criminal consequences that may be triggered after one single explicit text message.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for a sex crime as a result of explicit text messages or social networking posts, contact a skilled Raleigh criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense lawyer will fight on your behalf and aggressively protect your rights.

North Carolina vs. M.W.
Charge: Charge: Robbery with A Dangerous Weapon (4 Counts), First Degree Burglary, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with A Dangerous Weapon
Facing: 12 - 17 years in prison
Result: Dismissed

An incarcerated defendant accused our client of participating in the robbery of a group of youth at a party. We were able to raise doubt as to the credibility of this individual. In the end, the prosecutor dismissed these charges, citing a lack of evidence.