Broward News

Rick Scott Signs Off on Three-Strikes Law for Serial-Sexting Youngsters

We've got good news and bad news for Florida kids who like to send naked pictures of themselves via cell phone.

The good news is that the first time you get busted sending or receiving a quick nudie pic, it's a noncriminal violation.

The bad news is that if you're caught sexting a third time, it's a felony.

The new law, signed by Gov. Rick Scott yesterday, applies only to minors. If you're an adult sexting another adult, you're just creepy.

Previously, youngsters caught sexting could have been subject to kiddie-porn charges, but the new law looks to evade that.

The law doesn't limit naked pictures sent from cell phones only -- it covers any computer or electronic device that can send data and also includes video coverage.

If you still really feel the need to be sexting other kids, there's only one way out of it, according to the language of the law: You can't ask for it, you have to either tell the naked person's parents or tell the cops, and you can't send it to anyone else.

Otherwise, start counting your strikes.

First offense is a noncriminal violation, which includes eight hours of community service or a $60 fine.

The second time, that's a first-degree misdemeanor.

If you really can't control yourself and get busted a third time, it's a third-degree felony -- which carries a maximum penalty of a five-year prison sentence.

As a caveat, if your sexting includes the depiction of "sexual conduct" or "sexual excitement," you can also be prosecuted for stalking, according to the text of the law.

Before you start whipping out private parts to send some photos, know that the new law doesn't take effect until October 1.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley