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Mount Holly Criminal Lawyer Examines New Jersey Teen Sexting Phenomenon

You could ask every teenager about sexting and many will be familiar with what it is and perhaps have engaged in sexting themselves.  What teens are not aware of are the potential consequences of sexting, and that it could possibly have criminal penalties.

The speed of modern technology can ruin a child’s life in less than 30 seconds.    Posting provocative selfies or sharing nude pictures is a common practice among teenagers who live in a communication world dominated by electronic, media devices. Sexting occurs when sexually suggestive or explicit pictures are sent through cell phones.

Peer pressure, self-cyberbullying (pleas for attention), and teen love are the primary reasons for sexting.  Photos transmitted as a result of peer pressure and bullying are more likely to be shared and the outcome usually does not end well.  Inexperience and immaturity get teens into trouble and they do not understand the severity and impact of their actions.  Teenagers and children are unaware of the legal ramifications, psychological effects, and emotional pain associated with sexting. Since teens believe they are invincible, they assume the chances of getting caught transmitting and sharing photos over the Internet or via a cell phone is almost non-existent.

Sexting Is Prosecuted Under New Jersey Pornography Laws

Most states do not have a specific law that applies to sexting; therefore, the act of possessing and sharing nude photos is a felony and teens are prosecuted under state child pornography laws. In 2012, New Jersey added a provision to the child pornography laws which mandates that a first time, minor offender participate in a state funded education program that teaches the dangers of electronic media.

Parental Guidance Can Prevent Teen and Tween Sexting

Since smart cellular phones are the preferred method of communication among teens and tweens, parents can prevent their children from engaging in sexting by learning about the technology and applications first hand.

  • Learn about the different applications downloaded such as Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Monitor a teen’s phone and ensure your child is aware they are being watched
  • Place computers or phones for use in public areas only; the kitchen, family room, etc.
  • Supervise time usage and set boundaries on Internet or data
  • Speak with other parents about applications or technology

Parents should speak to children, even at young ages, about media and technology safety.

  • Protect your privacy and reputation
  • Respect everyone else’s right to privacy
  • Obey the laws (pornography and bullying)
  • Consequences, legally and psychologically, of breaking the laws
  • Empower your children to say “No” when feeling peer pressured

Mount Holly Criminal Lawyer Michele Finizio Aggressively Defends Those Facing Juvenile Criminal Charges in New Jersey

If your teenager is in involved in a sexting situation, Mount Holly criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio can assist you with the complex details of your circumstances.  Michele Finizio, Esq. represents minors facing criminal matters in juvenile court with dedication, knowledge and experience to get the best results for the best possible outcome.  We provide juvenile criminal defense in South Jersey in Burlington County, Atlantic County, Salem County, Camden County, Cape May County, Mercer County and Gloucester County as well as in Cherry Hill, Westmont, Haddonfield and Mount Holly with our conveniently located offices in Moorestown, New Jersey.

Contact the New Jersey Criminal law firm of Michele Finizio to discuss the confidential aspects of your case by phone at 609-230-0374 or submit an online inquiry.

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I could not have asked for a better attorney. Michele Finizio treated my cases and the cases of those I've recommended, as if we were part of her family.

-D.A.