Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of North Carolina

The State of North Carolina does not have a specific North Carolinastatute to address sexting. Therefore, anyone, including minors, caught sending, receiving or taking an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit act can be prosecuted under the States’ child pornography laws. If convicted, the individual could receive jail time, and will generally need to register as a sex offender.

Legislative Summary

In general, the distribution, possession or creation of an image containing a minor engaged in a sexual activity would constitute a felony under the North Carolina 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 the North Carolina child pornography statute, an individual could be prosecuted for:

  • Second degree sexual exploitation of a minor if the individual knows the subject or knows that the content of the material such individual records, films, photographs, develops or duplicates contains a visual image of a minor engaged in a sexual act; or such individual distributes, transports, exhibits, receives, sells, purchases, exchanges or solicits material that contains a visual image of a minor engaged in a sexual act.
  • Second degree sexual exploitation of a minor is a Class E felony. If convicted an individual could receive up to 9 years in prison.
  • Third degree sexual exploitation of a minor if the individual knows the subject or content of the material that the individual possesses contains a visual image of a minor engaged in a sexual activity.
  • Third degree sexual exploitation of a minor is a Class F Felony. If convicted an individual could receive up to 6 years in prison if convicted.
  • Obligated to register as a sex offender.

sobering reality

Charged with a felony.

Up to 9 years in jail

Register at a sex offender.

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