Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of Maryland
The State of Maryland could prosecute individuals, regardless of age, who are caught creating, distributing or possessing sexually explicit images of a minor under the State’s child pornography laws. If convicted, individuals will generally be required to register as a sex offender.
In general, the distribution, possession or creation of an image containing a minor engaged in a sexual activity would constitute a felony under the Maryland child pornography statute. Exceptions to the law for minors do not exist and as such two minors who send each other sexually explicit images of themselves could be prosecuted under the State’s child pornography laws and if convicted, receive jail time and will generally need to register as a sex offender.
Law and Punishment
In general, under Maryland a person cannot:
- Cause, induce, solicit or knowingly allow a minor to be the subject of a sexually explicit image.
- Photograph or film a minor engaged in a sexual act or sexual conduct.
- Use a computer to depict or describe a minor engaging in a sexual act or sexual conduct.
- Knowingly promote, distribute or possess with the intent to distribute an image of a minor engaged in a sexual act or sexual conduct.
- Use a computer to knowingly compile, enter, transmit, publish information for the purpose of engaging in, facilitating, encouraging or soliciting sexual conduct of or with a minor.
- Penalty for violating the statute is up to 10 years in jail and/or a $25,000 for a first offense.
- Possession of sexually explicit materials where the minor is under the age of 16 is a misdemeanor and subject to possible jail time of up to 5 years and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
- Repeat offenders face longer prison sentences and higher fines.
There have been no legislative proposals to create a specific sexting statute as done in other states.
Charged with a felony.
Up to 10 years in jail
Up to a $25,000 fine.
Latest News Concerning Sexting in Maryland
ABC2News.com | April 5, 2012
United Press International | April 17, 2010
Southern Maryland Newspapers Online | February 17, 2010
ALIVE | March 20, 2009
The information contained herein is intended only as a reference to the subject matter covered and the contents herein are not to be relied on as legal advice or legal opinion. Please contact your legal advisor for any legal advice or legal opinions. Furthermore, the content and information on this page is copyrighted material to the extent such material is not an excerpt from the law itself. Any use or reproduction of such material is strictly prohibited without the expressly written approval of Parental Solutions LLC. If you are a member of the media and wish to discuss the content contained herein or otherwise on the Mobile Media Guard website, please feel free to contact us to schedule a call.