New Teen Sexting Law Now in Effect

A change in the teen sexting law goes into effect on Saturday

A new teen sexting law now in effect carries lighter penalties for first offenders -- but can still brand a convicted teenager with sex offender status for life.

The new state law reduces the punishment for the first conviction to a non-criminal offense, $60 fine, and eight hours of community service.

The second offense results in a first-degree misdemeanor, while the third offense remains a felony child porn conviction with permanent sex offender status.

The third conviction penalty is what upsets civil libertarians.

"They took a bad law and made it worse," said Howard Simon, spokesman of the American Civil Liberty Union of Florida. "It should be with the teachers and parents, not the criminal justice system."

Governor Rick Scott pushed for the change, but it's unclear whether his motives were to invite more arrests by making the punishment lower and therefore more enforceable, or whether he felt that forcing sex offender status on a 14-year-old couple for doing something stupid is, itself, stupid.

Simon says the ACLU will likely take the whole law to court in a few months when teenagers start getting slapped with their third infraction and face prison and a lifetime of sex offender status.

While adults debate the law, teens outside a Miami movie theatre were unphased.

"I' don't know anything about this," said a girl.

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