Four Essential Facts You Should Know About Revenge Porn

Posted on: 17 January 2018

Revenge porn is a relatively new crime as far as the legal industry is concerned (though nobody needs to be told that the act has always been bad). This means many people still don't understand the criminal act of revenge porn plus all its nuisances. Here are some of the things you should know about the crime:

The Term Revenge Is a Misnomer

The first thing you should know that in this context, the term "revenge" is a misnomer because you can be charged with revenge porn even if you aren't revenging against anything. It is more or less here as a legacy because, at least in the beginning, scorned lovers would publish sexual pictures of their objects of desire as a form of revenge. Legally speaking, however, revenge porn refers to the intentional distribution of pornographic materials (sexually explicit images) without the subject's approval. This means your intentions don't matter as long as you did it intentionally without the owner's consent.

Even the First Offense Can Be a Felony

Revenge porn laws vary by state, and in many places, you will be charged with a misdemeanor if it is your first offense. However, there are states, such as Hawaii and Arizona, that will charge you with a felony (though the classes vary) even if it is your first offense. This means you don't have to be a repeat offender to face severe penalties or punishments if you are convicted of revenge porn.

A Conviction May Trigger Civil Lawsuits

If you are convicted of revenge porn, then the criminal prosecution may not be the only case you will be facing. This is because personal injury laws allow revenge porn victims to pursue injury charges against those who distribute pornographic materials. Damages may include different things such as damage to reputation, injunctions, and different forms of financial losses associated with the publication. In fact, the victim can use your criminal conviction as evidence of your liability when pursuing the civil lawsuit.

The Relevant Laws Are Constantly Evolving

Lastly, you should know that revenge porn laws are constantly evolving, and what you read online today won't be necessarily true tomorrow. Don't be surprised if a state that has classified revenge porn today elevates it to a felony tomorrow or adds aggravating factors that make it a felony.

Being a sexual crime, revenge porn can attract severe and far-reaching consequences. This is why it's not advisable to face the charges without a lawyers help. Contact a firm, like Hutcoe Law, for more help.

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