Not only are you an excellent attorney, but a good person who truly cared about me and always did your best to help me. I am so grateful for being given a second chance.
—TomDave Shrager successfully lobbied for my felony charge to be completely withdrawn. His services were worth every dime. A highly personable, intelligent, and competent attorney, I would recommend Dave Shrager to my closest friends and family without hesitation.
—RonDave knows the system better than any lawyer in Pittsburgh due to his family's local and long-standing practice, and it was evident in the positive manner in which the judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers responded to Dave's arguments on my behalf.
—JimI cannot say thank you enough to David Shrager for all his help today! If it were not for this guy, I would no longer have a job or drivers license. So thanks again Dave, you're the best!
—BillI was in a bad place in my life...I was making bad decisions, which led to my having a really bad night and lots of legal trouble. I'm lucky I had Attorney David Shrager at my side. He helped guide me, with his legal expertise, through a very difficult time in my life.
Call 412-969-2540 to Speak Directly with Attorney David Shrager 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK

Sexting Charges and Penalties in Pennsylvania

Sexting Lawyer – Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

“Sexting” has become much more prevalent with an increase of people using smart phones. It is very simple to take pictures and videos with personal cell phone devices and in the next instant text them, email them, or even post them online or distribute them through social media like Instagram or Facebook.

Sexting without the approval of the person in the photos or video is illegal. Sexting with or without the approval of a minor is illegal.

Any adult who sends photos of their private body parts to a minor, or asks other teenagers or children to do the same, is committing a crime that could be punishable by the same penalties as a child sex offender.

Convicted sex offenders can face a lifetime of humiliation after being released from prison by being forced to register as a sex offender in their jurisdiction. The national sex offender registry is publicly available information.

If you have been arrested or charged with sexting it is important to speak with an experienced and reputable Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer immediately for a free consultation.





Pennsylvania’s Teenage Sexting Law

Juvenile Sexting is on the rise, with 20% of teenagers saying that they have sent naked or semi-nude pictures of themselves or posted them online. Because sexting and cyberbullying have led a few teenagers to commit suicide, prosecutors do not waste any time or resources in attempts to find the defendant guilty. For more information on Teenage Sexting, see the FBI’s Law Enforcement Bulletin.

In 2012, Pennsylvania passed a law that made sexting a misdemeanor or summary offense for teenagers. The law was said to make it less likely that a teenager be charged for a felony for child pornography. Still, with 20% of teenagers participating in sexting, these laws seem harsh to many parents and teenagers.

We all make mistakes and certainly this is even truer for teenagers today (whose brains are not fully developed) and who have the instantaneous power of the Internet and social media to make bad decisions very quickly.

The PA Sexting Law makes it illegal to:

  • Transmit, distribute, or share an electronic communication (such as a text message, instant message, email) containing a nude image of him or herself or any other person age 12 or older, but younger than 18, or
  • Possess a nude photo of another person between the ages of 12 and 17.

This law makes it a crime for the teenager who received the text or email to possess the communication, even though he or she may not have asked for it to be sent to them.

This law does not apply for more serious sex offenses, such as images taken or distributed for commercial purposes, or images of more intense sexual acts, such as intercourse, penetration, or masturbation. These crimes are punishable under stricter laws.

Penalties for Teen Sexting in Pennsylvania

Sexting for teenagers is a summary offense, which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a maximum $300 fine. Diversionary programs do exist, which will send the teenager to an educational program on the dangers and consequences of sexting, but you have to be accepted into this program.

Having an experienced Pittsburgh Juvenile Crime Lawyer who knows how to defend your child’s rights could help to reduce sentencing, or even have the charges dropped altogether, through expungement or suppression of evidence.

Sharing a sext of another teenager is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine. In the case of harassment by way of sharing sexts, these fines increase to up to two years of prison and a maximum $5,000 fine. In addition, the teenager’s phone can be confiscated and not returned.





Sexting Penalties for Adults in Pennsylvania

If the accused offender is over 18 years of age, there are more serious consequences, even for first time offenders, if convicted. Depending on the circumstances, a person could be charged with sexual exploitation of a child, luring a child, or child pornography.

Photographing child pornography or causing a child to participate in the making of pornography is a felony with a penalty of up to ten years in prison and a maximum $25,000 fine.

People convicted of child pornography and other obscene child offenses in Pennsylvania are required to register as sex offenders in each jurisdiction they live, work or go to school, in some cases, every three months for the rest of their lives. This information is publicly available on a website. Failure to register as a sex offender is a felony and can lead to prison time and thousands of dollars in fines.

If you are an adult and have been accused of sending pornographic images of your self to an uninterested party, you may be charged with online sexual harassment or online stalking.

If you have taken nonconsensual photos of another person, even though they are an adult, and have distributed them or are still in possession of them, you could be charged with illegal pornography and/or illegal pornography distribution.

Sexting could also be prosecuted as a federal crime. The Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003 makes illegal the production, distribution, or possession of any type of child pornography. It is also a federal crime to use a computer to ship, transport, receive, distribute, or reproduce for distribution child pornography or to solicit pornographic images of children.


At Shrager Defense Attorneys, we are experienced sexting defense lawyers in Pittsburgh who will pull every stop to win your case and defend your rights or the rights of your child. We are aggressive in developing a sound strategy as well as thorough in investigating the evidence and legal process that led to the sexting charge.

Sexting, luring children and child pornography are serious charges that come with severe penalties that will affect your future or the future of your child.

Alleged sex offenders and their families often struggle with embarrassment along with the stress of facing punishment, prison time and the negative stigma that comes with being a sex offender.

Attorney Shrager is a very compassionate attorney who treats all his clients with dignity and understanding. He can help you understand your rights and prepare a sound legal case. He will do everything to aggressively fight for your rights, your freedom and your future.

If you have been accused of a sexting crime in Pennsylvania, call or text Pittsburgh Sex Crime Lawyer David J. Shrager today – 412-969-2540. He is available 24/7 and can provide you with a free legal consultation.


FREE Legal Consultation

Call or Text 412-969-2540 right now for a FREE initial legal consultation.
Speak directly with Pittsburgh Attorney Shrager 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Shrager Defense Attorneys in Pittsburgh, PA will attack your criminal charges in order to protect your good name. Have a sound and solid case prepared by David J. Shrager and his legal team so they can fight for your rights.

If you have been charged with, or think you may be charged with, any of the following sexual offenses, call Attorney Shrager immediately for a free consultation: