With the rise of personal cell phones in the 21st century, instant communication has brought with it instant ways to send provocative photos and messages at the touch of a button. “Sexting” as it has come to be known, can be a private activity between consenting adults, but when lines are crossed, the law may get involved.
Criminal and Family Implications
Sexting can get a person in trouble with the law or family law proceedings. Obscene pictures have become a common norm in American society, but unsolicited messages can land the sender in hot water.
Criminal Charges: against a person who knowingly distributes obscene photographs can range from:
1) harassment and a $500 dollar fine – all the way to
2) a felony conviction and 10 years in jail.
Family Law: judged and opposing counsel do not look favorable on sexting with outside parties; especially, the release of this content depicting the other party.
What to Do?
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexting or charged with an allegation stemming from sexting, you should:
- Cease communication with the other party;
- Document any previous conversations; and
- Contact an attorney to explore your options.
- In Family Law proceedings, you should contact an experienced Oklahoma family law attorney.
Oklahoma defines explicit content as sexually suggestive photographs and sexually explicit messages or letters sent to another person without their consent.
Relationships are tough and ending a relationship is even harder. Sometimes out of anger or revenge a person will release private sexual photographs or videos, which has been termed revenge porn.
Sexually explicit images disseminated without the consent of the person identified in a photograph is a crime.
Whether private images were obtained with consent or not; it is a crime to post these images on public websites or send these private images to a third party.
If you have been the victim of revenge porn, the state provides legal courses of action that can include the removal of images by the person who posts them. The reverse can be true if pictures sent to a person are shared without express permission.
You Cannot Delete Sexting
When you hit delete on your phone or computer that content may be removed from your device, but it is never removed from the server. Cellular phone providers are required by federal regulations to maintain records of all content exchanged between devices for set periods of time. Additionally, the major providers never erase text message content. One subpoena in your case could result in evidence that can never be erased.