February 8, 2011 at 3:16 AM CST - Updated June 23 at 8:57 AM
AUSTIN, TEXAS - Texas lawmakers could soon be focusing on teen "sexting" laws. A bill targeting sexually explicit messages and images on phones and computers was filed Monday morning.
The bill could lessen the punishment for teens guilty of sexting. The bill was first drafted back in November. The guidelines included trying to curb the teen trend, and also keep teenagers from facing too harsh of a punishment, too early in life.
Sexting is considered an unfortunate, but continuously rising trend among American teenagers. Now 'sexting' -- or sending sexually explicit messages to friends – is what some Texas lawmakers are hoping to stop.
As the law stands now -- if a child or teen is caught 'sexting', they could face federal child porn charges, and could be forced to register as a sex offender. But Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Senator Kirk Watson said back in November -- the bill would discourage 'sexting'. If passed, it would also change the charge to a Class C misdemeanor.
In November, Attorney General Abbott said the bill would have zero affect on the budget. He also said he hopes the bill would move quickly and pass with unanimous support. If lawmakers in the legislative session agree, the bill would go into effect in September.