The recent scandal in Colorado, where students at a high school were discovered
to have sent and received hundreds of nude photos of themselves via smartphones,
has probably caused many parents in Texas to worry. With the proliferation
of cell phones and the lack of judgment that goes with being a teenager,
"sexting" by minors has become a national phenomenon.
Sexting can have serious legal consequences. If the photo depicts a minor,
any adult sending or receiving it can be charged with distribution or
But if the sender or recipient is a minor, Texas law is less harsh. A first-time
sexting offense by a person under the age of 18 is ordinarily a Class
C misdemeanor.If the sexting was done for purposes of harassing or bullying,
it can be charged as a Class B misdemeanor. Under Texas law, the parent
of a minor charged with sexting is required to appear in court with the
minor. If the judge determines the minor is guilty of sexting, the judge
canrequire the minor to attend an educational program and make his or
her parents pay for it.
In some cases the statute provides a complete defense to sexting charges
for minors. Minors cannot be charged with sexting in Texas if the pictures
were only of the person charged and another minor; the two parties were
in a dating relationship and the two parties were not more than two years
apart in age.
Any young person facing a sex crime charge needs to fully understand their
rights under the law. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help
minors and their parents throughout the process.
Source: statutes.legis.tx.us, "Tex. Penal Code Â§ 43.261,"
accessed Nov. 15, 2015