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Providing criminal defense services to
clients throughout the East Bay and
its surrounding areas.

California bill may make revenge porn a misdemeanor internet crime

Breaking up is hard to do. It can be even harder in the age of information. With the touch of a button, photographs that were supposed to be private can be posted on social media sites or emailed to people who were never supposed to see them. When minors are involved, this type of behavior is often considered cyber-bullying, a criminal offense. When consenting adults are involved, however, it typically is not considered an internet sex crime. That could change if a proposed bill passes in California.

It is already against the law to distribute images or videos of an adult that were taken without that person’s knowledge. The new bill would make it illegal for a scorned ex to distribute explicit images of his or her former intimate partner, even if the other party consented to the photographs being taken while they were together. This is commonly referred to as “revenge porn.” With the increasing popularity of sexting and the availability of websites, apps and other technology that make it easy to distribute such images, lawmakers in California are considering legislation that would make revenge porn illegal. In order to be convicted of the crime, it would have to be proven that the intent of posting the pictures was to cause emotional distress and an invasion of privacy. If the bill passes, revenge porn would be a misdemeanor offense that could carry a sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.

Anytime a new law is enacted, it raises a number of legal and constitutional issues. If you are accused of revenge porn, internet harassment, cyber bullying or any other type of internet crime it helps to have an experienced defense attorney argue those issues before the court. 

Source: Huffington Post, “Revenge Porn Could Soon Be Illegal In California,” Robin Wilkey, August 27, 2013.

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