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When a youthful indiscretion leads to accusations of sex crimes

Sometimes a teenager unintentionally bends the rules without truly understand that what they are doing is illegal. Moreover, teenagers are at a stage where they will start experimenting sexually. The combination of these two things, however, could lead to charges of sex crimes against a teenager.

In Arizona, it is against the law for a juvenile to purposely use an electronic communication device to send or display sexually explicit material that depicts another minor. It is also against the law for a juvenile to purposely possess sexually explicit material that depicts another minor, which was received through the use of an electronic communication device. The violations for these crimes range from a petty offense to a class three misdemeanor, depending on how many people the juvenile displayed or transmitted the image to.

However, minors who unintentionally find themselves in such situations may not face criminal charges if the following circumstances are present. First, the juvenile must not have solicited the sexually explicit material that depicts another minor. Second, the juvenile must have made a reasonable effort to either destroy the material or report the image to his or her parents, school officials or the police.

Being charged with this particular sex crime could have a lasting effect on a juvenile's future. Teenagers are still developing, and will make mistakes here and there. They should not have their entire future tarnished because of a youthful indiscretion, especially if they meant no harm. Fortunately, with regards to this particular sex crime, there are steps juveniles can take so they will not be prosecuted.

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