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Revenge Porn

Sex Crime Attorneys Representing People in Concord and Charlotte

Due to recent advances in technology, it is not uncommon for people to record or photograph sexual encounters. While documenting sex acts is lawful when it involves consenting adults, when private images or movies are shared online without a party’s consent, it may constitute what is known as revenge porn and can result in criminal charges. If you are accused of disseminating private images without permission, you may face criminal consequences and should speak to an attorney to evaluate your rights and options. The Charlotte and Concord revenge porn lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm know what it takes to obtain a favorable outcome in sex crime cases.

North Carolina’s Criminalization of the Disclosure of Private Images

Revenge porn refers to pictures or videos that are posted on the internet without the consent of the person depicted in the material, often out of retaliation. The North Carolina legislature recently modified the criminal statutes in an effort to protect people from the harmful consequences of revenge porn by making it a crime to disclose certain images.

To prove that a defendant should be found guilty of the crime of disclosure of private images, the prosecution must prove all five elements of the offense. Specifically, they must prove that the defendant knowingly divulged someone else’s image with the intent of harassing, intimidating, coercing, demeaning, or causing financial harm to the person. The prosecution also needs to prove that the person shown can be identified via either the image or information provided in connection with the image, and either that the person is engaging in sexual conduct or that his or her intimate parts are exposed. Finally, the prosecution must show that the defendant disclosed the images without the consent of the person shown and that the defendant either obtained the images without the person’s consent or knew that the person expected the images to stay private. A revenge porn attorney in Charlotte or Concord can try to expose weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

The scope of the law is further explained by the definitions of relevant terms. For example, “disclosure” includes reproducing, distributing, publishing, and transferring, and “images” include videotapes, films, photos, recordings, and live transmissions. “Intimate parts” are defined as the genitals, pubic areas, and anuses of males and females, as well as the nipples of females over 12 years old. Finally, sexual conduct includes actual and simulated oral, vaginal, and anal intercourse, masturbation, and torture or physical restraint of a nude person.

Criminal and Civil Penalties for Distributing Revenge Porn

The classification of a revenge porn offense and potential penalties depend on the age of the defendant and whether he or she has previously been convicted of similar crimes. In other words, if the offense is committed by a person who is 18 or older, or is a second or subsequent offense by a person who is under the age of 18, it is a Class H felony, which carries a maximum penalty of 25 months of imprisonment. If the person who committed the offense was under the age of 18, though, it is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which comes with a maximum punishment of 120 days of imprisonment. In addition to criminal sanctions, a person who discloses private images in violation of the law may be held civilly liable for the actual damages caused by the disclosure, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees. Considering these significant consequences, a defendant should retain a Charlotte or Concord revenge porn attorney without delay.

Exceptions and Defenses to Charges Under the Revenge Porn Law

The North Carolina statute defining revenge porn specifically states that it does not apply to images that involve voluntary exposure in a commercial or public setting. It also does not apply to releases made in the public interest, which include those made while reporting illegal conduct or lawful practices of law enforcement, engaging in legal proceedings or reporting on criminal matters, providing medical treatment, or partaking in educational or scientific activities. In addition to the statutory exceptions, a defendant charged with a revenge porn offense may be able to argue that the person shown in the disclosed images consented to their release or did not reasonably expect the images to remain private.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Disclosing private images that are sexual in nature can result in criminal charges and significant penalties. The criminal defense attorneys at the Olsinski Law Firm can assess the facts of your case and formulate a strategy to help you seek a favorable legal result. Our revenge porn lawyers represent people in Charlotte and Concord and throughout Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, including in Huntersville, Davidson, Matthews, Cornelius, Midland, Pineville, Mint Hill, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, and Mount Pleasant. You can contact us through our online form or at our office in Charlotte at 704-405-2580 or at our office in Concord at 704-918-4747 to set up a conference.

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