Texas laws on dating a minor

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Use the Statutes by Date feature if you wish to see how a specific Texas statute read on any date between 2004 and the present.

Any charges that stem from teen sexting can result in some very serious consequences for the teen, the people who shared photos with the teen, and potentially for the teen's parents or guardians (who may be charged under Texas’ child enticement or endangerment laws for allowing the teen’s involvement in illegal sexual activities).

If you’ve been questioned by the police or charged with a sexting crime, you need to speak to an experienced local criminal defense lawyer immediately.

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In the United States, age of consent laws regarding sexual activity are made at the state level.

There are several federal statutes related to protecting minors from sexual predators, but laws regarding specific age requirements for sexual consent are left to individual states, District of Columbia, and territories.

However, minors have a defense to prosecution when the images are solely of the sender or recipient, were sent within a dating relationship, and both parties are not more than two years apart in age (including if one party is 18 or older). These crimes are usually punished as felonies, described below. Knowing possession of such material—without intent to distribute—is also a crime under the PROTECT Act. An adult punished for an offense involving sexting with a minor may be required, in addition to the fines and prison term described above, to register as a sex offender.

Images sent to harass or bully the recipient may incur additional penalties for the sender. And although it is less probable that a juvenile will have to register as a sex offender, it is a possibility that you should discuss with your attorney (described below).

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