In Illinois, you sext when you send messages or use obscene, lewd or immoral language with the intent to offend by means of the telephone. Your intent to offend can be inferred from your use of obscene, lewd or immoral language. (See Illinois Transmission of Obscene Messages Law).

A first sexting offense is a Class B Misdemeanor. However, later offenses can be charged as a Class A Misdemeanor with a minimum of 14 days in jail. Under certain circumstances, sexting may become a Class 4 felony, for example, if you threatened to kill the victim, you were on probation at the time, or you had 3 or more similar violations within a 10 year period. Further, it is a Class 4 felony if you, as an adult, sext someone under age.

If you have been charged with sexting, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most crimes, the state must prove all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Can the state prove that you intended to offend? Was the language you used truly lewd or obscene? Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

See our related post: Cyberstalking and Sexting Can Become a Hate Crime in Illinois.