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Is sexting illegal?

Over the last few years, thanks to advances in cellular phone technology and functionality, there has been an increase in people taking and sending lewd or suggestive photographs of themselves to others. The process has been dubbed as sexting, and it is now a relatively large part of our culture. Many celebrities and politicians have been caught up in nude photo scandals, but because the concept is so new, there are not a great deal of laws that address it.

Technically speaking, in its most basic form sexting is not illegal. The consensual exchange of nude pictures between two adults is a perfectly legal act, but there are keywords in the phrase which can affect the act of sexting and potentially put you at risk of a criminal conviction. If nude photos are exchanged between minors, for example, sexting can cross into the dangerous territory of child pornography, and it is difficult to tell just what kinds of legal issues you or the other party may face.

There is also the matter of consent, which can be especially difficult with regard to images that are traded through texting and emails. Once a file is created and sent to another person, it becomes nearly impossible to completely erase. If you send a nude photo to someone who becomes disgruntled or upset with you, they may make the photo available publicly to harm your image and reputation. This process is commonly referred to as revenge porn, and it can also cause serious legal issues.

If at any time you decide to engage in sexting, it is important that you exercise extreme care and that you fully trust the individual to whom you are sending the pictures. However, the laws surrounding sexting are rather vague and continually evolving, so if you feel that you are being accused of something that you did not do because of a sexting issue, it is worth meeting with an attorney to discuss your legal options. A simple misunderstanding could lead to a sex crime conviction if you are not careful.

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