Sexting on its own is not a criminal offense, but sexting the wrong person ca be. At its core, sexting is just the transmission of nude or suggestive material through text messages. For two consenting adults, there is no problem with sexting. In fact, it's fairly common in many adult relationships.
Sexting only becomes a problem when a text is being sent to someone who does not want it or when that person is underage. Even if the person sending the sext is underage and you aren't aware of it, receiving that sext could violate child pornography laws.
How could this affect you? Here's a good example. If you're a 16-year-old teen and decide to send a sext to an 18-year-old boyfriend or girlfriend, that in itself may be a criminal act because you are technically sending child pornography. Taking or sending photos of yourself can be construed that way because you are a minor. Even if you are in a relationship with the other party and legally able to do so, your age makes a difference.
Another situation might occur if someone sends you photos who claims that he or she is over 18 but really is not. The images may not be child pornography in your opinion, but if they are found and the true age of the person who sent them is discovered, you both could face penalties.
These are a few things to think about when you send or receive a sext message. If you find out you've received child pornography unwittingly, your attorney may be able to help you defend yourself.