Texting is the primary form of communication for many people throughout North Carolina. Smartphones allow people to transmit many types of messages, including videos and images, and some people choose to send content that is sexually explicit in nature, which is often known as sexting. While sexting may seem like a harmless act in most cases, it can lead to criminal charges, which can result in significant penalties. At the Olsinski Law Firm, our Charlotte and Concord sexting defense lawyers are proficient at handling matters arising out of the dissemination of sexually explicit materials. If you are charged with a crime related to sexting, we can help you build a strong defense.Distributing Obscene Materials Via Sexting
While sexting in and of itself is not illegal in North Carolina, there are numerous criminal charges that may arise due to the transmission of text messages that are sexual in nature. For example, a person who sends a text message that contains sexually graphic content could potentially be charged with disseminating obscene materials. An image or video will be considered obscene if it does not constitute protected speech and shows sexual conduct in a patently offensive way. The material must also lack any scientific, artistic, or literary value, and it must be proven that an average person would find that the material appealed to an indecent interest in sex for it to be deemed obscene.
In North Carolina, it is illegal to intentionally distribute obscene materials, which includes delivering or providing such materials to another person. Similarly, it is illegal for a person to knowingly create obscene materials by photographing himself or herself or another person or otherwise assisting in the preparation of such materials. Thus, in many instances, sexting will result in charges of both creating and distributing obscene materials. A sexting defense attorney in Charlotte or Concord can help you fight these charges.Sexting Charges Involving Minors
Sexting often results in criminal charges when it involves underage parties as well. First, a person may be charged with disseminating harmful materials or exhibiting harmful performances to minors if they provide content to a minor that shows sexually explicit nudity or activity and that an average adult would find inappropriate to show to a child. There are some statutory defenses to prosecution for such an offense, however, such as the fact that the defendant was a parent, teacher, or legal guardian, or another specified individual. It is also a defense that the defendant sought and received from the victim identification that indicated that the victim was at least 18, and the defendant reasonably believed the victim to be 18. Finally, it is a defense to such charges that the distribution of such materials was made with the prior consent of the alleged victim’s parent or guardian. Our knowledgeable Charlotte and Concord sexting defense attorneys can develop an appropriate defense in your case.
Similarly, sexting with a minor can result in charges of sexual exploitation of a minor. In other words, if a person encourages, coerces, or induces a minor to engage in sexual activity (either for a live performance or to create a video or image of the activity), records such material, or engages in other unlawful acts, it may constitute first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Additionally, a person may be found guilty of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor for recording, photographing, filming, copying, receiving, or distributing materials that depict a minor engaged in sexual activity. It is not a defense to either crime that the defendant believed the minor to be 18 or older. Thus, if a person receives or sends a sexually explicit text to or from a minor, it may constitute a serious offense.Speak to an Assertive Criminal Defense Attorney
While many people engage in sexting, it is not without risk, and sometimes it may lead to accusations of criminal activity. If you are accused of a crime related to your sending or receiving text messages, it is advisable to confer with a sexting defense lawyer in Charlotte or Concord to discuss your case. The criminal defense attorneys at the Olsinski Law Firm assist people accused of sexting-related crimes throughout Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, including in Charlotte, Concord, Huntersville, Davidson, Matthews, Cornelius, Midland, Pineville, Mint Hill, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, and Mount Pleasant. You can contact us to schedule a consultation via our form online or by calling our Charlotte office at 704-405-2580 or our Concord office at 704-918-4747.