Houston

Accused of Sexting a Minor?

Call Our Houston Sex Crime Attorney for Help

Sexting has been the topic of a significant number of recent news reports. Sexting involves the sending of sexually explicit pictures and/or messages by use of a cellphone or other device. When sexting involves a minor, the minor who sends or receives the messages may be subject to criminal penalties under Texas law.

While Texas law does not specifically mention sexting by name, there are several Texas statutes that criminalize such behavior. What is so shocking about Texas sexting laws is that teenagers are often at risk of significant criminal penalties under very suspect situations. Consider the following:

  • Your teenage daughter could be arrested for sending a nude or semi-nude picture of herself to her boyfriend
  • Your teenage son could be charged with a crime if his cell phone contains nude or semi nude pictures that his girlfriend sent to him
  • Your teenage son or daughter could be charged with a crime simply because they forwarded nude pictures to a friend, even though your son or daughter played no role in actually taking the picture

If you or your child has been arrested for sexting, do not take the charges lightly. While it may seem like a simple matter to you, the consequences imposed by the criminal justice system could be severe. For a strong and aggressive defense, contact The Law Offices of Jed Silverman in Houston, Richmond or Alvin, Texas.

Texas Penal Code Sec. 33.021: Online Solicitation of a Minor

Sec. 33.021. ONLINE SOLICITATION OF A MINOR:

(b) A person who is 17 years of age or older commits an offense if, with the intent to commit an offense listed in Article 62.001(5)(A), (B), or (K), Code of Criminal Procedure, the person, over the Internet, by electronic mail or text message or other electronic message service or system, or through a commercial online service, intentionally: (1) communicates in a sexually explicit manner with a minor; or (2) distributes sexually explicit material to a minor. (c) A person commits an offense if the person, over the Internet, by electronic mail or text message or other electronic message service or system, or through a commercial online service, knowingly solicits a minor to meet another person, including the actor, with the intent that the minor will engage in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with the actor or another person.

Sexting per Sec. 33.021 is a Felony in Texas

Online solicitation of a minor, which includes sending sexually explicit material via text messaging, is a felony of the third degree in the state of Texas. It can even be enhanced to a felony of the second degree if the minor depicted is under the age of 14. A conviction of a second-degree felony can warrant imprisonment “for any term of not more than 20 years or less than 2 years.” Additionally, the court can impose a fine of up to $10,000. Online solicitation of a minor is also a reportable conviction or adjudication, which means a conviction can warrant sex offender registration.

Sexting Under Sec. 43.261 “Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting a Minor”

According to Sec. 43.261 of the Texas Penal Code[1], it is a crime to intentionally or knowingly, by electronic means, promote or possess visual material depicting sexual conduct to another minor. Texas Senate Bill 407 (SB 407)[2] was passed in 2011 and altered the consequences for sexting. Prior to this bill, a conviction could be counted as a felony and warrant up to 10 years of sex offender registration. Now, a charge for violating 43.261 of the Texas Penal Code could be a Class A, B, or C misdemeanor. A Class C misdemeanor could warrant a fine of $500, Class B misdemeanor could warrant a fine up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail, and a Class A misdemeanor could warrant up to a $4,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

Contact a Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in Houston Today

With offices in Houston, Richmond, and Alvin, we serve clients throughout Texas and across the nation. To schedule a free consultation with Texas sex crimes defense lawyer Jed Silverman, call (713) 597-2221.


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For the convenience of our clients, we have three different offices in the Houston metropolitan area. Find the office nearest you and schedule your meeting with us!

  • The Law Offices of Jed Silverman Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Houston Office

    1221 Studewood St., Suite 200, Houston, TX 77008
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    Phone: 713.597.2221

    Local Phone:713.226.8800

  • Richmond Office

    201 South 11th Street, Richmond, TX 77469
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    Phone: 281.936.0879

  • Alvin Office

    1520 East Highway 6, Alvin, TX 77511
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    Phone: 346.444.9165

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