A man is using his smartphone.Finding out you’re facing a Fort Lauderdale Sexting charge can cause a lot of anxiety, but the experienced South Florida sexting lawyers at Rossen Law Firm are here to guide you through the criminal process and protect your rights. Contact our firm today to discuss your situation with seasoned legal counsel.

What is a Sexting Crime?

Sexting is when someone sends nude or sexually explicit images or videos through any electronic device. The term “sexting” comes from the idea of texting sexually explicit images. Generally, two consenting adults taking part in these exchanges would not have any legal trouble. 

In Florida, however, minors involved in sexting are considered to be committing a crime.

This state is one of a handful of states that have enacted legislation specifically addressing teen sexting. The law offers prosecutors a charging option that allows minors (those younger than 18) to avoid a felony record and sex offender registration.

Legally speaking, teens may take part in exchanging sexual messages over smartphones; sending nude images, videos of sexual activity and trading details through the media may lead to criminal charges in Florida. But the real issue comes into place when, and if, these are shared.

Sharing (redistributing) any sexually explicit images or videos could constitute child pornography based on the age of the individual in the image or video. What may seem like a ‘harmless text’ can mean stiff criminal consequences. If you share an image with a friend, or text it to someone else, it could spell serious consequences. 

As an attorney serving South Florida can further explain, if someone does not report the image and engages in the activity, he or she may also become involved in the sexting charges just by being an observer. Some penalties may serve to curb future behavior through re-education in sending and receiving messages with pictures. 

Child pornography includes photos, videos, exhibitions, shows, representations, images, data files, computer depictions, or other presentations that includes any sexual conduct by a child (someone under 18 years old).

[FLA. STAT. § 775.0847 (2019)]

Sexting refers to the sharing of nude or sexually explicit images with others through the use of phones, the Internet, or other communication devices. Consenting adults don’t typically commit crimes when they sext, but teens (many of whom are minors) who sext can face significant potential consequences. Particularly if the sender is a minor, and the receiver and/or the sharer of the images is not a minor.

States have taken various approaches to address teen sexting. Some states have put laws prohibiting sexting between minors in place. 

These laws tend to have penalties that aren’t as severe for when two minors sext each other, as opposed to as when an adult sexts with a minor. Others punish sexting under preexisting laws against child enticement and child pornography, which often have harsh penalties.


In Florida, Sexting is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine. Third violations can be punishable with a felony of the third degree, up to 5 years of prison, and a $10,000 fine.

Consequences of Sexting Between Minors

When sexting occurs between two South Florida minors, the first offense usually carries charges of a non-criminal nature. Typically, a minor committing the crime of sexting goes through the juvenile justice process. Penalties include a fine of up to $60 and 8 hours of community service.

A second teen sexting offense, with the same individual, however, may lead to further problems – such as criminal misdemeanor charges and worse sentencing guidelines. Second violations are considered first-degree misdemeanors, with penalties of up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine. 

For a third or further teen sexting charge, the person passes the misdemeanor and enters felony territory with possible imprisonment. In these situations, the convicted person may be required to register as a state sex offender for the rest of his or her life; this makes it vital to enlist the help of an expert sexting defense attorney as soon as possible.


If you or a loved one is facing a sexting charge in Fort Lauderdale – you’ve come to the right place. The South Florida sexting lawyers at Rossen Law Firm have extensive experience providing a compassionate and effective defense to local sex crimes.

Facing a sexting charge is difficult enough. The last thing you need is someone judging you for it. At the Rossen Law Firm, we guarantee a judgment-free zone where your respect and dignity are our top priority. Contact us today to get started.

Possession of Sexting Defenses in Florida

  • Adult Depiction: It is a defense to the crime of Possession of Child Pornography that the images in question are entirely of persons over the age of 18 years of age, even if one or more of the persons depicted appear to be minors.

  • Child Erotica: Child pornography can be distinguished from child erotica which is not “sufficiently lascivious to meet the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct.” It is a defense to the crime of Possession of Child Pornography if the images of the minors depict erotica, as opposed to pornography.  

  • Transitory Possession: Sometimes, people are unwittingly sent an image of child pornography, but immediately delete the image once they realize the illegal nature of the image. However, a thumbnail image may still exist on the person’s device or the image may still be in a memory cache even though the main image was deleted. In this scenario, the image was unintentionally viewed and any remaining thumbnail or memory cache image was not knowingly stored. The transitory possession of an image under these circumstances would be a defense to Possession of Child Pornography.  

Free Sexting Criminal Defense Strategy Session in South Florida

We handle sexting cases of all types. We know how to assess your legal situation and provide you with a personalized and aggressive defense to your criminal charges. 

Contact our office if you’re facing sexting charges. We’ll listen to your story, discuss the best course of action for you, and see what resources may help you. The Rossen Law Firm understands bad things happen to good people.

We offer FREE strategy sessions so you know how we’ll work to get the best possible outcome for your case.


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