Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Posting "Revenge Porn" is Now a Misdemeanor in California

PC 647(l) makes it a misdemeanor to post online, distribute or otherwise disseminate nude photos of your ex. Anyone convicted under this section could face up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine for the first offense, with the penalty doubled for a second offense.

The bill, proposed by Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), was signed by Gov. Brown and took effect in 2013. It provides, in relevant part, the following:

"...that any person who photographs or records by any means the image of the intimate body part or parts of another identifiable person, under circumstances where the parties agree or understand that the image shall remain private, and the person subsequently distributes the image taken, with the intent to cause serious emotional distress, and the depicted person suffers serious emotional distress, is guilty of disorderly conduct."

Put simply, you can be arrested and prosecuted if you share (or post, or publish, or upload...) nude pictures of someone without that person's permission. Even if you had permission to take the photos when they were created, or even if the photos were sent to you, you may not distribute those photos without the subject's permission. 

Disseminating revenge porn may also be the basis for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. Even though we don't typically think of revenge porn as being an act of "domestic violence", a judge will grant a domestic violence restraining order if the the victim requests one because the act of posting revenge porn can constitute "harassment". Aside from being arrested and possibly jailed, you will be barred from possessing firearms if a restraining order is granted against you. 

Finally, you are likely to be sued if the victim can prove that you breached his or her privacy by publishing intimate photos.

There are many possible defenses to the crime of distributing revenge porn. Our office has experience fighting these types of charges and we can help if you have been arrested or if you believe that you are under investigation. Call us for a free attorney consultation. 714 449 3335

Thanks for reading.