Revenge Porn

The internet was once treated like the Wild West. There were few regulations on what content could be posted, people were mostly free to write and upload what they wanted. The online landscape was so unregulated that taxes were not even collected on online goods.

Now, however, American lawmakers across the country have started to become much more involved with what happens on the internet. Revenge porn, the posting of pornographic material without consent of the person depicted, has become somewhat of a hot topic. Many states have started to aggressively crack down on such acts, Florida being one of them.

Lawyer for Revenge Porn Arrests in West Palm Beach, FL

Do you think that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested for a revenge porn offense in the greater Palm Beach County area? Do not say anything to authorities until you can contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A..

West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell defend clients accused of crimes in communities all over Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Broward County, including Greenacres, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, and many others. Call (561) 557-8686 right now to have our lawyers review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.


Palm Beach County Revenge Porn Information Center


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Revenge Porn Law

Florida passed a revenge porn law in 2015. The statute first establishes certain intentions and presumptions regarding revenge porn.

  • A person depicted in a sexually explicit image with the person’s consent has a reasonable expectation that the image will remain private.
  • Publishing such images online, without consent, on internet websites causes significant psychological harm for those depicted.
  • Safeguarding the psychological well-being of persons depicted in such images is a compelling government interest.

The Florida statute then defines relevant terms and lays out the substantive portions of the law. The crime of revenge porn is referred to as “sexual cyberharrassment” within the statute.  

  • Image – includes but is not limited to, photographs, pictures, motion pictures, films, videos, or representations.
  • Sexually cyberharass – to publish a sexually explicit image of a person that contains or conveys the personal identification information of the depicted purpose to an internet website, without consent, for no legitimate purpose, with the intent of causing substantial emotional distress.
  • Personal identification – any name or information that may be used alone or in conjunction with other information to identify a specific person.
    • This includes unique biometric data, such as fingerprint, voice print, retina or iris image, or other unique physical representation.
  • Sexually explicit image – any image depicting nudity or a person engaging in sexual conduct.
  • A person who willfully and maliciously sexually cyberharrasses another person commits a first degree misdemeanor.
  • A person who has one prior conviction for sexual cyberharrassment and then commits a subsequent sexual cyberharrassment offense, commits a third degree felony.
  • An aggrieved person may initiate a civil action and may plead for:
    • Injunctive relief
    • Monetary damages to include $5,000 or actual damages, whichever is greater.
    • Attorney fees and costs

It should also be noted that the statute accounts for someone that is committing the crime outside of the state of Florida. As long as any conduct that is an element of the offense, or any harm to the depicted person resulting from the offense, occurs within the state of Florida, then Florida will have jurisdiction to try the case.


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Revenge Porn Process and Penalties in Palm Beach County

If a law enforcement officer has probable cause that a person has made a sexual cyberharrassment violation, the officer can make an arrest without a warrant. Otherwise, upon proper affidavits being made, a search warrant can be issued to further investigate including searching a private dwelling.

A first time offender convicted of sexual cyberharrassment can be punished by a fine up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail. Someone that has a prior conviction and subsequent convictions for sexual cyberharrassment faces a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.

While the statute applies and penalizes those who upload sexually explicit images to the web, it does not include interactive computer services or communication service. Those two terms as defined by Florida law:

  • Interactive computer service - information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a service or system that provides access to the Internet and such systems operated or services offered by libraries or educational institutions.
  • Communication service - means the transmission, conveyance, or routing of voice, data, audio, video, or any other information or signals, including video services, to a point, or between or among points, by or through any electronic, radio, satellite, cable, optical, microwave, or other medium or method now in existence or hereafter devised, regardless of the protocol used for such transmission or conveyance. The term includes such transmission, conveyance, or routing in which computer processing applications are used to act on the form, code, or protocol of the content for purposes of transmission, conveyance, or routing without regard to whether such service is referred to as voice-over-Internet-protocol services or is classified by the Federal Communications Commission as enhanced or value-added.

Essentially, the relevant parties that would be exempt from prosecution are hosting websites and internet service providers. For example, if a John Doe posts a sexual video of his former girlfriend on Website A, without her consent, Website A and the internet service that John Doe used to post the video would not be liable for sexual cyberharrassment but John Doe would be.


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Revenge Porn Charge Resources

Florida Sexual Cyberharrassment – Almost all states have passed a revenge porn statute. Viewing this link will take you to the full Florida statute regarding sexual cyberharassment. There are also links within the page to the various ancillary sections of the code such as the relevant penalties.

Cyber Civil Rights Initiative | (CCRI) – The CCRI is a non-profit organization that has worked to criminalize non-consensual pornography. CCRI also conducts research and collects data regarding instances of revenge porn. This link will take you to their latest research report.


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Find a Revenge Porn Defense Attorney in West Palm Beach, FL

Were you arrested or do you believe that you might be under investigation in Palm Beach County for sexual cyberharassment? You should not speak to any authorities until you have spoken to Meltzer & Bell, P.A..

Our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers represent individuals in communities throughout Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County, and Broward County, including Wellington, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Boca Raton, and several others. Call (561) 557-8686 or submit an online contact form to have our attorneys review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.

 


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