Teens can get into big trouble, often not even knowing that they are breaking the law. Most recently, hundreds of high school students are being investigated for sexting in what has been dubbed the Colorado Sexting Scandal. So here is what we are going to do: We are going to explain the law and the consequences of breaking the law, let you ask questions and share your stories.
Let’s begin: Essentially, the Florida teen sexting law makes it a crime for anyone under 18 to send or receive any photo/video showing nudity of or a sexual act with another person under 18 with your cell phone or computer. Yes, even when you are in high school, sending a picture of yourself naked to your girlfriend or boyfriend is indeed a crime. The legal consequences range from a non-criminal violation for the first sext to a misdemeanor or even felony offense on your record. At the very least, this will earn you a lengthy process through the juvenile justice system where you will face a $60 fine or 8 hours of community service for your first sexting ‘offense’; or have to complete a cyber-safety program, if that is available in your county. The second one, a first degree misdemeanor, will include higher fines, probation or detention in a juvenile detention facility. For the third sext, you may face felony charges.
There are other consequences as well. Once you send that photo, you have lost control of it. So if you get into a fight, your partner might resend or even post it. In other words, what was a private moment can go viral on the internet in seconds. Think you are safe when using snapchat? Not so. Snapchat is known for providing protection by sending “self-destructing messages,” destroyed within seconds after the recipient receives them. But Snapchat’s small print tells you that this self- destruction of the message is NOT guaranteed. Whoops! Don’t use it!