Sexting in Illinois
With the rapid growth of technology comes new challenges for law enforcement and lawmakers charged with keeping us safe. One challenge that continues to grow is the popularity of sexting, especially among teens and young adults. While many states still treat sexting with old child pornography statutes, Illinois has a more balanced approach.
Types of Crimes
It is a crime for minors to send or take sexually explicit images with any electronic device. This is a broad term that includes mobile phones and computers. Additionally, it is a crime to list the personally identifying contact information of a minor on any adult obscenity or child pornography website.
Adults who send sexually explicit images to minors also commit a crime under Illinois law. Illinois child pornography laws make it a crime to record or depict minors engaging in sexual acts or simulated sexual acts. Moreover, it is a crime for a parent to allow the conduct to occur.
Sexting may also be a federal crime, even when between two minors. However, minors are usually not federally prosecuted, and the matters are instead referred to state authorities.
Consequences for Juveniles and Adults
Any minor who uses an electronic device to send a sexually explicit image to another minor, or of another minor, is guilty of crime and can be prosecuted under the juvenile justice system. For most crimes in Illinois, a minor is any person under the age of 18. Any individual who is 18 years or older is considered an adult and will be dealt with in the criminal justice system.
Juveniles will usually face periods of supervision and court mandated counseling and treatment for crimes relating to sexting. However, depending on the facts of the case and the record of the child, juvenile detention is a possibility.
Adults will most often face felony charges. The more instances of sexting with a minor there are, the longer the possible prison sentence will be. In some cases, if you are convicted of a sexting crime or child pornography crime as an adult, even as an 18 year old, you will also be required to register as a sex offender.
If you or your child has been accused or charged of a crime, such as sending or taking sexually explicit images, you need to speak to an experienced DuPage County criminal defense lawyer right away. It is important that you do not discuss the case with anyone until you have consulted with a lawyer. Call 630-580-6373 to schedule a consultation today.