Hillsdale, Michigan news reports that an investigation is underway into teenage sexting at Hillsdale Highschool. Currently, two Hillsdale High female students, as well as a male student from another school are being questioned in connection with the exchanging of “sexually explicit” pictures via text. Sexting may be considered possession of “child pornography” and illegal under Michigan law. According to the report, if sexting charges are filed, the two minor females would be tried as juveniles, and the male who is 17 would be tried as adult.
If you or your teen is accused of sexting, it is important to speak with a Michigan sex crime lawyer at once. Because sexting may be considered a sex crime, significant penalties and consequences exist if convicted. Sexting charges are often filed as possession of child pornography or child sexual abusive material. In fact, the possession of any sexually explicit materials of anyone under the age of 18 whether video, digital or electronic is a serious felony. The taking of such images may be classified as “manufacturing” and when a person hits “send,” the action may be called distribution. As a result when teenagers make an error in judgment, such as a decision to send a provocative photo to a boyfriend or girlfriend via text, that choice can quickly escalate to a charge of child pornography.
Here, the Hillsdale prosecutor notes that she expects sex crime charges to be filed. The minors would likely face lesser penalties aimed at rehabilitation, such as fines, community serves and counseling. However the 17-year-old could face felony sex crimes charges, with a potential penalty of 20 years in prison.
Because of the seriousness of the charges and the potential consequences, a proactive approach is necessary to help those under investigation fight to avoid prosecution and conviction and get their life back on track.
For more information about how to talk to your teen about sexting or if your child is under investigation for sexting, contact the experienced Michigan sex crime defense lawyers at Grabel & Associates for an immediate confidential consultation.