Call Today 803.359.3301
Is Sexting Illegal in South Carolina?

Is Sexting Illegal in South Carolina?

Since modern relationships involve couples communicating through text messages, e-mails, and even direct messages (DMs) on social media platforms, sometimes they also share intimate and sexually explicit images with one another. While some states have laws that specifically address sexting performed between teenagers and the penalties do not carry harsh penalties, other states punish this type of conduct under preexisting child pornography or child enticement laws. 

Is Sexting a Crime?

In South Carolina, sexting is generally not a crime among adults. Among minors, sexting is considered a crime. Sexting images of and to teenagers can be charged as either sexual exploitation of a minor (child pornography) or disseminating obscenity to minors. 

Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

Sexual exploitation of a minor is defined as knowingly possessing, sharing, receiving, or creating a digital file that shows a minor who is either nude or engaged in a sexual act. Sharing, receiving, or creating a sexually explicit photo or video of a minor is a second-degree crime, which is a Class E felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years – with a minimum term of two years. Knowingly possessing this material is a third-degree crime, also punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years but with no minimum sentence. 

Disseminating Obscenity to Minors

Disseminating obscenity to minors means sending offensive or sexually charged material to a teenager. If the offense only involves minors, it is a Class F felony that carries a maximum prison term of five years. 

If an adult sends obscene material to a minor between the ages of 13 and 17, then the offense is a Class E felony. However, if the minor is 12 years old or younger, then the offense is a Class D felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years. 

Since minors under 18 years of age are considered juveniles in South Carolina, which means most cases will be heard in juvenile court, rather than adult court. Unfortunately, a conviction in either juvenile or adult court can still result in serious penalties, including sex offender registration. 

If you or a loved one is facing sex crime allegations in Lexington, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC today at (803) 359-3301 for a free initial consultation. 


Get Started Today

We're Available to Schedule Immediate, Same-Day Consultations
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.