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Cleveland Sexting Lawyer

Criminal charges relating to sexting are embarrassing and have serious penalties, for minors and adults both. But early action from an experienced defense lawyer can be the difference in seeing a positive outcome. This could mean avoiding formal charges before they are filed, a dismissal, fighting back in court, or reducing the negative impact on your or the accused’s life.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime for sexting in Cleveland, The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC can help. Call (216) 348-1000 for a free and confidential consultation.

Sexting Charges in Cuyahoga County

Sexting is the act of creating, sending, receiving, or showing suggestive photos, videos, or messages, via text, email, social media, etc. Any sexting in Ohio that involves a minor is considered a crime. Even if both parties are minors, “consent” does not apply, and it is still illegal. Sexting can also result in charges, like harassment for adults if the communication is interpreted as aggressive.

Studies cited by the Ohio State Bar Association suggest “as many as one-fourth or more of all teens are directly involved in sexting, while as many as half have seen inappropriate ‘sexts’ of one kind or another.” Unfortunately, this leads to more than embarrassment, bullying, and harassment.

Sexting Between Minors

Teens that take and share nude or sexual images of minors – including themselves – under the age of 18 have historically been prosecuted under Ohio’s child pornography laws. This means that teens taking explicit photos and sharing them with friends or significant others risk felony charges.

While juvenile court oversees many sexting cases, this is not guaranteed. Depending on the facts involved, a sexting charge could result in a sex crime conviction, being adjudicated delinquent, possible time in custody, and sex offender registration.

By working with an experienced defense attorney you can avoid many of these and pursue a favorable resolution that lets your child move on. In addition, many Ohio counties offer diversion programs that allow minors to serve community service and receive education around appropriate communication. Options like this can result in lesser or dropped charges and help minors avoid sex crime convictions and mandatory registration.

Pandering

A common charge associated with sexting is pandering obscenity involving a minor. Essentially, pandering is creating, reproducing, advertising, buying, selling, and possessing any obscene material or sexual material involving a minor.

For example, if one minor photographs another in an explicit activity – even if it’s “consensual” they could face pandering charges, typically treated as a second-degree felony.

Child Porn & Sexting Penalties

Sending explicit photographs of minors by sexting is considered distributing child pornography in Ohio. This is a fourth-degree felony, punishable by up to eighteen months in prison and fines

Simply having the explicit materials is possession of child pornography. This is a fifth-degree felony, punishable by a minimum of six months and up to one year in jail.

Child endangerment charges are also possible in cases involving sexting. This refers to when a child is encouraged to be photographed nude, engage in sexual activity, or obscene photography that features minors. Child endangerment is a fifth-degree felony, punishable by between two to eight years in prison and a maximum fine of $2,500.

Sex Offender Registration for Sexting

Ohioans convicted of crimes related to the sexual depiction or messages involving minors must register as sex offenders according to ORC 2950.01. This usually applies to minor offenders as well, even if they’re considered “low risk.”

Work with a Cleveland Sexting Lawyer Early

If you or your child is charged with a crime related to sexting, like child pornography or pandering, talk to an experienced defense attorney immediately. Any criminal conviction can be harmful, but sex crimes against minors have particularly harsh and long-lasting consequences.

A knowledgeable and dedicated lawyer with extensive experience in sexting cases can help you navigate the juvenile or adult court system and pursue the best possible outcome. Attorney Daniel Margolis is a highly experienced Cleveland sex crimes defense attorney with a background helping young people facing serious charges. Let him review the case, explain your options, and build a strong defense.

Call The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC at (216) 348-1000 today for a free and confidential consultation.

Contact Dan Margolis Today

To learn more about how a sex crime lawyer can help, call (216) 533-9533 and schedule an initial consultation. Our office is conveniently located just a few blocks from the Cuyahoga County Justice Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Contact Dan

Attorney Margolis is not currently providing free consultations nor accepting new clients. Please be advised that contact form submissions and calls may not be returned.
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