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As technology and society change over time, laws adapting to those changing times are often a necessity. After a teen sexting scandal created a number of legal issues for Colorado high school students, lawmakers are considering a bill that could prevent the same problem in the future. The proposed bill would make the act of teen sexting a misdemeanor charge.
Sending nude pictures via text messages, emails and smart phone apps is becoming increasingly common among teenagers. However, teenaged sexting is problematic from a legal angle. Even if two teens are exchanging nude photographs consensually, the act of underage sexting constitutes a serious criminal charge because of the age of the participants.
As it currently stands, sexting teens can be required to register on the sex offenders list. This label can haunt individuals for the remainder of their lives and is an especially heavy burden to lay upon a teenager. The proposed bill seeks to strike down the sex offender label for sexting teens. Instead, it proposes that teen sexting should be a misdemeanor crime that does not carry the same lifelong impact as the current legal action does.
The bill has received widespread support throughout Colorado, although it is not without its opponents. Some believe making teen sexting a misdemeanor charge will make it difficult for some individuals to report abuse, although it is not entirely clear how this might happen. As it currently stands, being accused of teenage sexting is still a serious matter that requires careful and timely preparation in order to ensure the best possible outcome.
Source: cpr.org, “State House Considers Bill To Lessen Penalty For Teen Sexting”, Jenny Brundin, March 16, 2016