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What is “Sexting” and How Can it Lead to Criminal Charges?With the mass use of cellphones by teenagers and young adults, laws have had to be modernized to stay relevant and effective. Pornography involving people younger than 18 has long been banned in the U.S. Such content has become even more easily created and accessible now that cellphones are in the hands of adolescents. The convenience of built-in cameras and instant messaging has paved the way for a modern phenomenon known as “sexting.” Taking and disseminating sexually explicit photos is common among today’s teens. On average, one in five teens has sent or posted semi-nude or nude videos or pictures of themselves. Unsurprisingly, many of these teens do not realize the serious allegations and penalties that come along with this explicit content.

Guilty Parties

The consequences for possessing sexually explicit content of minors extend to a number of individuals, including the photographer, the sender, and the recipient. The following are possible charges that one could face in Illinois:

  1. The Photographer: It is fairly obvious that whoever is the one taking the photos or videos can face serious consequences because they are the initiating party. A person who knowingly videotapes or photographs a minor who is engaged in a sexual act or is in a compromising position, nude or semi-nude, is committing the offense of child pornography. In some states, if the content is captured by the individual themselves, commonly known as a selfie, they are protected by law. Illinois does not recognize this exception and thus sexually explicit selfies can be self-incriminating. Anyone who has created child pornography has committed a Class 1 felony, punishable by at least four years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
  2. The Recipient: Many believe that those on the receiving end of such content should not face punishment since they are not responsible for the creation of the content. Those on the receiving end of things may have committed one or more felonies under the Illinois Pornography Act, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if a minor’s significant other entices or solicits them to send a sexually explicit photo or video, they have committed a child pornography offense. Possessing such photos or videos, knowing that the person is a minor, is a common offense, though claiming that the possession was involuntary may be used as a defense tactic.
  3. The Forwarder: Unfortunately, many of these pornographic photos do not stay between the sender and the recipient. It is common for such content to be sent to friends and other students. No matter how distant the connection between the photographer, initial sender, and continuous forwarding parties, anyone who disseminates this content to others violates child pornography laws.

Call a Wheaton Sex Crime Defense Lawyer

Child pornography charges are some of the most serious sex crimes that one can commit due to the inclusion of a minor in the explicit content. Those involving sexting are often committed by adolescents who are ignorant of the potential legal ramifications that they could face. This ignorance can greatly affect their futures, making it difficult to get into college or find a job later in life. Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, has assisted numerous clients in fighting against sex crime accusations and has tried-and-true defense tactics for such charges. If your child is facing child pornography charges as a result of sexting, contact our DuPage County juvenile defense attorneys at 630-260-9647 to schedule a consultation.




Posted in Child Pornography, Criminal Law, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Juvenile Crimes, Juvenile Offenders, Sex Crimes | Tagged , , ,

What Are the Consequences of Illegally Possessing Prescription Drugs?With rising awareness of the potential abuse of prescription drugs, Illinois lawmakers have cracked down on the illegal possession and distribution of these drugs. Prescription painkillers and amphetamines can be as addictive as the well-known illegal drugs but are more readily available to some people because of their legal uses. A prescription drug charge in Illinois is a felony offense, and a conviction may result in mandatory prison time. With the right criminal defense lawyer, you can contest the charge and prevent severe consequences.

What Are Criminal Offenses Related to Prescription Drugs?

Prescription drugs are controlled substances, and it is illegal to possess, distribute, or manufacture them without authorization. Ways that someone can violate the prescription drug laws include:

  • Possessing a controlled substance without a prescription from a doctor
  • Possessing a greater amount of a controlled substance than is authorized by a prescription
  • Creating a false prescription in order to obtain a controlled substance
  • Visiting multiple doctors in order to obtain multiple prescriptions
  • Lying to a doctor in order to receive a prescription
  • Sharing a controlled substance with others
  • Writing a prescription as a doctor for a non-medical purpose

A criminal charge related to prescription drugs can be anywhere from a Class 4 felony to a Class X felony, depending on the amount you possessed, how you obtained them, and whether you were distributing them to others. A Class 4 felony conviction can result in one-to-three years in prison and a fine of as much as $25,000. A Class X felony conviction can result in a minimum of six years in prison.

What Are Your Defenses?

To prevent yourself from becoming involved in a prescription drug case, it is best to keep your medications in the pharmacy containers with your name on them and locked up so that others cannot take them. You could be in trouble if you are caught with an unmarked bottle of a controlled substance or if someone else is found in possession of a bottle with your name on it. If you are charged, potential offenses include:

  • There was no criminal intent in your actions
  • You had a prescription for the controlled substance
  • The police officer was conducting an illegal search when they found the controlled substance

Contact a Wheaton, Illinois, Criminal Defense Lawyer

A charge for illegal possession or distribution of a prescription drug is a serious matter that requires your full attention. A DuPage County criminal defense lawyer at Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, will contest the charge against you and work towards a positive resolution. To schedule a consultation, call 630-260-9647.



Posted in Drug Crimes, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer | Tagged , ,

The Legal Consequences of Underage DrinkingUnderage drinking is a common activity among teens in social situations. Even those who do not enjoy drinking may feel pressured to fit in with their peers. Parents understand the dangers of underage drinking but may think of it more as a matter of parental discipline than legal punishment. Possession or consumption of alcohol by someone younger than 21 is a crime in Illinois with serious consequences. The penalties become harsher if the drinking is combined with other offenses, such as driving or using a fake ID.

Possession and Consumption

Underage possession or consumption of alcohol is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, punishable by a maximum fine of $2,500 and as long as a year in jail. Jail time is highly unlikely for this offense. The biggest consequence for the teen may be the loss of their driving privileges:

  • Their license will be suspended for three months if they receive court supervision.
  • Their license will be suspended six months for a first offense.
  • Their license will be suspended for a year for a second offense.

Possessing alcohol does not mean that the underage person must be caught holding the alcohol. Having the alcohol nearby and within easy access to them also counts as possession. The exception for underage consumption is if the teen is at home and under the supervision of a parent.

Driving Offenses

There are two types of driving offenses for underage drinkers:

  • A zero-tolerance violation means the underage person has any amount of alcohol in their system.
  • Driving under the influence means the underage person is legally intoxicated, usually defined as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is greater than 0.08 percent.

The main penalty for a zero-tolerance violation is a driver’s license suspension, but the length of the suspension depends on whether the driver cooperated with BAC testing. A first offense results in a three-month suspension but is doubled to six months if the driver refused the test. A first-time underage DUI conviction will result in a minimum two-year driver’s license suspension and a fine of as much as $2,500.

Fake IDs

It is a criminal offense to manufacture or possess false identification, which underage drinkers will often use to purchase alcohol. Most violations are a Class A misdemeanor but could be a Class 4 felony if the offender created a fraudulent ID instead of using someone else’s ID or altering their own ID. A Class 4 felony conviction can result in one-to-three years in prison and a fine of as much as $25,000.

Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If your child has been charged with an alcohol-related offense, you need the legal assistance of a Wheaton, Illinois, criminal defense attorney with Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law. We will work to either get the charge dismissed or minimize the punishment. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-260-9647.



Posted in Driver's License Suspension and Revocation, DUI, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, Fake ID, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Underage Drinking | Tagged , , ,