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Is Teen Sexting Illegal?

Wednesday / July 13, 2016

Teenagers all have cameras in their pocket or purse at all times. It’s the one on their smart phones. This technology has given them the ability to take and instantly share photos on various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, but it has also led to a fairly new phenomenon known as sexting.

In Arizona, the practice of exchanging explicit self-portraits, or sexting, may result in a juvenile complaint or criminal charges, especially if the images involve someone underage. If you are accused of sexting sexual images of a minor, you should consult a qualified and experienced Criminal Defense attorney immediately.



Arizona’s juvenile law contains statutes that directly address underage sexting, one of which makes it unlawful for a juvenile (someone under 18) to intentionally use an electronic device, such as a smart phone or computer, to send or display a sexually explicit image of a minor. Explicit sexual material is defined as anything that shows human genitalia or nudity, sexual activity, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse.

If the minor shows or transmits the image to only one other person, the offense is a petty offense, but if they show or transmit the image to more than one person, the offense is classified as a Class 3 misdemeanor. A juvenile determined to be delinquent based on sexting may be placed under probation supervision but the court may also impose up to one year of confinement in a juvenile detention center.


Tempe Juvenile Crimes Attorney Kyle T. Green

The right attorney can play a major role at each step in the juvenile court process. I have personally worked with many minors, along with their families and friends, to overcome and defend their charges. I have seen firsthand how a criminal conviction can affect a young person. The consequences go on for many years. My goal is to prepare and provide a solid defense so that my young clients do not have to deal with long-reaching consequences.


If you are the parent of a minor or a minor facing a juvenile crimes charge, call my office at 480-331-7568 as soon as possible for a complimentary case review.

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