Revenge Porn

florida revenge porn laws

In the modern age of social media, it’s not too uncommon to see two people carrying out a post war on Facebook after ending a relationship. Over the past decade, there has also been a disturbing new trend of estranged partners sharing sexually explicit material of one another on various websites. These pictures and videos are posted without the ex-partner’s permission and get shared with the world wide web as something known as “revenge porn.”

In the state of Florida, revenge porn is considered a form of sexual cyber harassment. Under this law, it may be criminal to share pornographic materials without the consent of the parties depicted. Any online sharing of photographs, images or videos to purposely harass or upset the victim is a form of sexual cyberharassment under State §784.049 of the 2018 Florida Statutes.

Florida’s Revenge Porn Laws

Because revenge porn is a form of sexual cyberharassment, Florida law makes it a crime to post or share someone else’s intimate images without consent. It is also a crime to publish content that clearly shows who the person is or other identifying information without permission. With technology constantly changing and being created, some Florida legislators are trying to make sure the current law doesn’t have any loopholes.

Sharing Explicit Materials Without Consent

Any image that shows nudity of various body parts which are exposed or visible through a thin material is sexually explicit. These areas of the male or female body include:

  • Genitalia
  • Buttocks
  • Pubic zone
  • Female breasts from the nipple downward
  • Penises which are erect underneath clothing

Additional content that would be considered sexually explicit includes images and/or videos of one or more people that:

  • Simulate or conduct actual sex
  • Touch or have contact with clothed or unclothed sexual areas of the body
  • Engage in masturbation

Shared Without a Legitimate Purpose

This part of Florida’s cyber-harassment statute seeks to demonstrate someone intentionally shared intimate data to hurt another emotionally. The prosecution will submit evidence that shows the sole purpose was to shame or make the victim uncomfortable. There are only a few possible legitimate reasons for posting sexual content, and that might relate to journalism, research, or educational purposes.

Purposely Causes Emotional Distress

Trying to prove someone shared explicit images of an ex-partner has its challenges. Prosecutors will have to provide evidence that shows the intention of posting revenge porn was to cause the victim an enormous amount of emotional distress. This approach relies on statements or the specific website used for sharing.

Florida Revenge Porn Penalties

Revenge porn is a serious crime, and victims not only have the criminal court to help them but also some civil court options at their disposal. Penalties for this crime are severe, so it’s vital to work with an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer to craft a well-thought out defense. An attorney with experience defending allegations of cyber harassment is critical to any revenge porn case.

Typical sentencing for those convicted of sexual cyberharassment is as follows:

First offense – First-degree misdemeanor with up to a year in jail and up to $1000 fine

Second or subsequent offense – Third-degree felony with up to five years in prison and up to $5000 fine

Civil Actions Against Revenge Porn

A victim of revenge porn may file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator of the crime to seek relief and/or prevent the crime from occurring. Civil actions that could help a victim against the offender include:

  • Ask for $5,000 in damages or actual loss, depending on which is greater, along with attorney fees and court costs
  • Seek injunctive relief against the alleged offender to prevent distribution or continued sharing of sexually explicit materials that he or she is party to

Defend Against Revenge Porn Charges

Revenge porn and other cyber crimes carry heavy penalties throughout the state of Florida. If you or a loved one have pending charges related to sexual cyberharassment, don’t delay in finding a knowledgeable attorney to defend you. Convictions of these crimes have a devastating effect on your reputation, career, and possibly freedom.

The Umansky Law Firm has over 100 years of combined criminal defense experience and is here to help you through this challenging situation. Our legal team has former prosecutors who understand the burden of proof required and what types of negotiations are possible. Contact our office today about your case at (407) 228-3838 for a free evaluation and to learn what kind of defense you need for the best possible outcome.