Is Sexting a Sex Crime in Virginia

Virginia Teen Sexting and Child Pornography Laws

There are no sexting laws in Virginia, whether you do it with a minor or an adult. Although, if there are a solicitation or pornographic material, then there will be child pornography law. In such situations, solicitation is the crime which occurs most where an individual asks for an explicit picture. So, there will be solicitation charges instead of sexting or any other charges. Solicitation with a minor is a crime under child pornography law which has very serious penalties and sentencing. Solicitation with a minor is a felony criminal charge under the laws of Virginia. Penalties are so harsh even if an individual has convicted the crime for the first time in his life. Sentencing can go up to a maximum of ten years for first-time conviction and if there subsequent activities involving child pornography or solicitation then it can take your whole life to prison. Fines are as harsh as sentencing. It can go up to $25,000 maximum or depends on the Court if they are going to order for more.

Can sexting be counted as a Federal Law?

Having no records in State laws, people often think that there are no laws for sexting in Federal law either. In different situations, sexting can be counted as federal law. Following are the criminal codes and the Federal law defining if sexting can be counted as federal law or not:

The Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003 makes it illegal to produce, distribute, receive, or possess with intent to distribute any obscene visual depiction of a minor engaged in the sexually explicit conduct. Knowing possession of such material—without intent to distribute—is also a crime under the PROTECT Act. (18 U.S.C. § 1466A(a)(1).)

Federal law also criminalizes causing a minor to take part in sexually explicit conduct to visually depict that conduct. Parents who allow this behavior can also be prosecuted. (18 U.S.C. § 2251.)

It’s also a federal crime to use a computer to ship, transport, receive, distribute, or reproduce for distribution a depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct or any material that otherwise constitutes child pornography. It’s another federal crime to promote or solicit sexually explicit material involving a minor. (18 U.S.C. § § 2252, 2252A.)

But the federal prosecution of juveniles for sexting may be unlikely. The Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act (FJDA) generally provides that, where possible, juveniles should be prosecuted in the state—not federal—courts. (18 U.S.C. § 5032.)

In any case where child pornography or child solicitation is involved, or even when you are accused of sexting which isn’t a crime, then you need to reach out to a lawyer. Enquirer about your case and consultation is always free. Know about your case, know about the laws which you are going to be charged with. Even if you have already convicted of the crime, you can still hire a lawyer and change the scenario by fighting for it and your right.

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