The new law means adolescents caught sharing explicit photos with each other will no longer risk charges, prison sentences and a damaging criminal record. New Mexico teenagers can now exchange nude photos without fear of criminal prosecution under a new bill that legalizes sexting and could have national implications for laws on child abuse images. Researchers have also found that a majority of adolescents are unaware of the potentially serious legal consequences of sexting. Prosecutors previously could also file separate charges for each individual image, meaning teens who rapidly exchanged dozens of photos via texts or other smartphone messaging applications could potentially be sentenced to significant prison sentences, said Rikki-Lee Chavez, legislative coordinator for the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, which also supported the measure.
What Is Child Pornography?
New Area of the Law
Sexting is making sexually suggestive images and sharing these images using mobile phones or by posting them on the internet and social media. The images might be photographs of yourself or someone else naked or partially naked. You might think that sexting is something risky, dangerous and illegal. For teenagers, sexting is often fun and consensual. They might also see sexting as part of building relationships and self-confidence, and exploring sexuality, bodies and identities.
Passing Images to another Minor
And most of those who do experience no negative consequences. But for teens who do share sexually explicit images, there are both psychological and legal risks, especially if coercion is involved and the images wind up being distributed beyond their intended audience. Sexting is certainly not just a teen issue, but these tips are specifically for teens and parents of teens.
By Mark Theoharis. Since cell phones first saw widespread adoption in the s, they've become not just ever present, but have developed vastly expanded capabilities, such as the ability to take and instantly share photos. This ability has lead to the phenomena of "sexting," where people send suggestive or nude pictures to others using their cell phones.