If your child has been sending or receiving sexually provocative photos or videos on a computer or smartphone, it is likely considered to be “sexting.” California law enforcement consider sexting to be child pornography, which is illegal under California Penal Code section 311.
What May Happen if Your Teenager is Charged with Sexting
If your child was arrested or charged with sexting, your child could be prosecuted as a felony or a misdemeanor. A conviction for child pornography could result in fines and/or probation or counseling.If the charges are prosecuted as a felony, the punishment usually includes jail time and, worst of all, mandatory registration as a sex offender for the remainder of his or her life. This will likely ruin any chance your child has of attending a good college, getting a good job, and so forth.
Do Not Allow a Search Without a Warrant.
If police visit your home concerning the sexting allegation, you and your child are protected under the Fourth Amendment to the United States constitution from being subjected to an unreasonable search and seizure. This constitutional right applies to property under you or your child’s control, including the home along with you and your child’s smartphone or computer.
The police must obtain a search warrant from a judge describing “with particularity” what areas and/or items they are seeking to search. If police failed to obtain a warrant and confiscate items from your home during an illegal search, your criminal defense lawyer should file a Motion to Suppress Evidence under California Penal Code section 1538.5. If the motion is granted, any illegally obtained evidence is ruled inadmissible.
Juvenile Court is the Preferred Venue
If your child is charged with sexting and the case proceeds to court, the preferred venue is Juvenile delinquency court because this court is dedicated to handling infractions and crimes with minors. Juvenile court proceedings are generally confidential and the stated objective of the juvenile court is to attempt to rehabilitate your child, not to punish him or her. The role of the adult criminal court is to punish an adult who is found guilty of a criminal offense, so you do not want your child prosecuted in that forum. Juvenile delinquency proceedings are often referred to as Section 602 proceedings. There are prosecutors and defense attorneys, but your child will not be subjected to a jury trial.
Take Action Now: Contact an Experienced Child Pornography Defense Lawyer
The Law Office of Peter Berlin is dedicated to providing excellent, uncompromised service to our clients. If your child is facing child pornography or sexting charges, then an attorney from our firm can help. We can provide you with legal advice throughout your case as well as comprehensive representation of your case in court. Our firm features experienced and aggressive lawyers who are on the cutting edge of trial practice in the California court system. We offer a free, comprehensive consultation and are available 24/7 so that you may obtain legal advice at any time.