SAN ANGELO, TX -- (SAPD Press Release) Once you send a photo online, there’s no way to control it. It’s out of your hands. Since Texas Senate Bill 407 passed in 2011, the legal consequences regarding sexting have been expanded; therefore, it is important for everyone – especially minors – to become aware of the penalties that can come from being convicted or adjudicated of sexting. In general, you are illegally engaging in sexting if you – knowingly or on purpose – send, show or keep a picture or video of a minor – including yourself – engaging in "sexual conduct".
You can be charged with a Class C Misdemeanor for sexting promotion or possession if it is a first-time offense, and you are a minor who is not a child
You can be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor for sexting if you are a minor and you: Promoted visual material with intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend someone
Have previously been convicted for sexting
You can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor for sexting if you are a minor and you: Have previously been convicted one or more times of promoting the visual material with intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend someone
Have previously been convicted for general sexting promotion or possession two or more times
You can be charged with a third degree felony for possession of child pornography if you are at least 18 years old.
Second degree felony: A fine not to exceed $10,000 and at least 2 years in prison, but no more than 20 years.
You can be charged with a second degree felony for promotion of child pornography as either a minor or as an adult.
Consider this: It’s completely possible that as an 18-year-old high school senior, you may be charged and convicted of possession and/or promotion of child pornography if the person you're dating is under 18 years old and sends you such images and you have them on your phone or computer. The offense of possession is complete upon receipt of the images; promotion involves showing or sending them on to other people and is a second degree felony.