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Juvenile's use of photo app is absolutely risky in New Jersey

Do you know what your teen is doing when she is constantly typing on her phone? You might think that she is typing a message to her best friend about the newest episode of Glee, but teen behavior on cell phones is not always as innocent as parents want to think.

Sure, no parent would want their teenager to send a nude picture of herself to anyone. There is more to that action than the disappointment of a parent and the embarrassment of the teen, however. Law enforcement can get involved and treat teens' actions of sending photos as a sex crime.

This week, officials at a New Jersey high school sent a warning letter to parents of students in the area about teens' use of a phone application called SnapChat. The app will send photos taken by the user but then delete them soon after. It's a perfect way for teens to get themselves in trouble due to a false sense of anonymity and safety.

Students from a New Jersey school prompted the community-wide warning that SnapChat and Instagram are being used by kids to take, send and save nude photos of the underage student subjects. A teen might not think that she is hurting anyone by snapping a nude photo of herself and sending it to a boyfriend, but she is still breaking the law -- a law that New Jersey police warn that they will begin strictly implementing as of next week.

By engaging in this so-called "sexting" activity, teens could find themselves fighting a child pornography charge. That's a serious threat for an adult, not to mention a juvenile.

Our New Jersey criminal defense firm has experience handling internet sex crime cases such as those involving child pornography.

Source: Mashable, "Teens' Nude Photos From Snapchat Lead to Investigation," Camille Bautista, March 14, 2013

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