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Colorado Sexting Laws

Sexting is defined as sharing sexually explicit photos, videos, text messages, or e-mails. Although sexting is considered legal among consenting adults, it is against the law for an adult to send to or receive such images or messages from a minor.

When an adult engages in sexting with a minor, the adult can be charged with sexual exploitation of a child, which means possessing sexual images of a child or contributes to distributing or producing such images. Possession of less than 20 still images is a Class 5 felony, which carries a maximum prison term of three years, a fine of up to $100,000, and registration as a sexual offender in Colorado.

Possessing many of both still and moving images is a Class 4 felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to six years, a maximum fine of $500,000, and sex offender registration. Production and distribution of child pornography is a Class 3 felony, which can result in a maximum 12-year prison term, a fine not exceeding $750,000, and sex offender registration.

But what about sexting between two minors? As of January 2018, exchanging sexual materials with someone who is 14 years of age or older or less than four years younger than the alleged offender is punishable by a maximum fine of $50 and enrollment in educational programs. Additionally, distributing or posting private or sexual images without permission is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail term of one year and a fine of up to $1,000.

Before the recent law, prosecutors could only charge minors with felony exploitation of a child for sexting. The new law also encourages prosecutors to seek diversion or alternative programs for minors charged with a first offense.

If you have been charged with a sex crime in Denver, contact the Law Offices of David L. Owen, Jr., P.C. today at (303) 622-3281 and request a free consultation. Get 33 years of trial-tested experience on your side!