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Illinois Sexting Laws: How Severely Should Minors Be Prosecuted?

shutterstock_9474583-1000-ffccccccWhite-3333-0.20.3-1.pngWe've all heard the stories about teenagers who send an inappropriate photo of themselves to their significant other, only to have that photo disseminated across the internet or to other schoolmates via text messages and social media. In the state of Illinois, sexting is a crime and could even be prosecuted under the state's child pornography laws. But should minors be treated so severely?

In an article from the Illinois Bar Journal, author Janan Hanna explains that the Illinois sexting statute, found in 705 ILCS 405/3-40, prescribes two separate approaches for minors who transmit sexual images to their peers. Under the Minor Requiring Authoritative Intervention statute, actual application of this statute is handled on a case-by-case basis.

A minor may face either of the following types of consequences for sexting:

  • Counseling, supervision, or community service
  • Criminal charges and processing

In general, the statewide stance on sexting has come to favor a more moderate approach. Underage individuals who are found in possession of sexual images of others or who disseminate these images usually do so as a joke and without criminal intention. As a result, investigations for such cases often end with the conclusion that the defendant should be "adjudged a minor in need of supervision."

Cases that Require a Seasoned Criminal Lawyer

While it is generally agreed that "teenagers will be teenagers," there are some cases where a minor may face serious felony charges for child pornography. This may be the case if the defendant allegedly demonstrated extreme malice or criminal intention when obtaining or disseminating the sexually-themed image. In such circumstances, it is essential that the minor receive counsel and representation from a seasoned criminal attorney.

Has your child been charged under the Illinois sexting law or child pornography laws? Speak with a DuPage County criminal defense lawyer from Martin & Kent, L.L.C. today! Our attorneys know the law to the last detail and can present a strong defense on your child's behalf. We have a strong success record, so you can depend on our legal team to provide the defense that you need. Contact us today!

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