Disseminating sexually explicit materials to minors entails distributing explicit photos, videos, or other media that depicts a sex act, a simulation of a sex act, or nudity to a person that is under the age of 18. It does not matter whether the person disseminating the material is over the age of 18 or not; minors may be charged with this as well. The most common type of dissemination of sexually explicit material to minors is sexting, which is a serious crime in the State of New Jersey.
The line between flirting and committing a crime is thin. Use the help of a New Jersey dissemination of sexually explicit materials attorney to distinguish the difference. If you have been charged with disseminating sexually explicit materials to a minor or sexting in New Jersey, you should seek the help of an attorney as soon as possible. Get in touch with New Jersey sexting lawyer John J. Zarych to defend you against these charges. Call (609) 616-4956 to schedule a free consultation today.
Dissemination of Sexually Explicit Materials to Minors in NJ
The most common type of dissemination of sexually explicit materials to minors in New Jersey is sexting. Since sexting has only developed alongside the advent of cell phones and the Internet, it is still a relatively new thing for culture and the legal system to deal with.
According to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 of New Jersey law, it is illegal to permit a child to engage in sexual acts or the simulation of a sexual act if that act will be photographed, filmed, reproduced, or reconstructed in any way; take a photo or video of a child engaging in a sexual act or simulation of a sexual act; or to knowingly distribute or possess any item that depicts the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child.
Since it is illegal to create nude photos of a minor, it is illegal for minors to take nude photos of themselves. A minor in possession of a nude photo of themselves is considered in possession of a type of child pornography; sending it to someone else, even if it is a photo of themselves, is considered to be distribution of child pornography. Receiving a sexually explicit photo taken by a minor is also considered possession of child pornography.
Penalties for Disseminating Sexually Explicit Materials to Minors in New Jersey
Charges against people who disseminate sexually explicit materials to minors in New Jersey vary based on whether the defendant is an adult or a minor. If the defendant is an adult, then they may face serious charges for sexting. It does not matter if the adult was aware that the subject was under the age of 18 or not.
There are a few different charges for sexting with a minor in the state of New Jersey. Third-degree sexting charges can carry a penalty of three to five years in prison and a fine of $15,000; second-degree sexting charges can result in five to 10 years in prison and a fine of $150,000; first-degree sexting charges can result in 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of $200,000. Sexting has been a crime in New Jersey since 2012.
Adults who have been charged with sexting will be entered into a sex offender registry. It is also possible that those who disseminate sexually explicit materials to minors are subjected to parole supervision for life, which is a consequence that frequently follows sex crimes in New Jersey. While sexting can carry its own specific charges, it can also be charged as a form of child pornography. The severity of child pornography charges depends on the number of files that are shared.
Sexting involving a minor could also be charged as sexual harassment. If the recipient of a nude photo does not want to receive that photo, then the person who sent the photo is committing a form of harassment, according to N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4. Revenge porn is a specific form of sexting that carries its own penalties. Sharing nude photos without the subject’s consent is a type of invasion of privacy and can carry a fine of $30,000.
Charges for minors who engage in the dissemination of sexually explicit materials to other minors may be less severe but still significant. It is common for minors who have been caught sending sexually explicit materials to be sent to diversionary programs, if a judge determines it appropriate. These programs educate minors about the dangerous consequences of sending sexually explicit photos; these consequences may be legal, as well as emotional and social. (It should be noted that teens are usually only eligible to participate in a diversionary program if it is their first sexting offense.)
Minors who disseminate sexually explicit materials to other minors may face child pornography charges. They may also be entered into a sex offender registry, even if they are under the age of 18.
New Jersey Lawyer for Dissemination of Sexually Explicit Materials Charges
Disseminating sexually explicit materials is a type of sexting, which, if it involves minors, is a serious offense. If you are being faced with these charges, know that you don’t have to face them alone. Use the help of New Jersey criminal defense attorney John J. Zarych to understand the charges made against you while crafting a defense that can reduce the charges or get them dismissed entirely. To receive the help of a seasoned criminal defense attorney, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych today for a free and confidential consultation. Contact us at (609) 616-4956.