woman looking a cellphone with concern and sadness on her faceYes, revenge porn is illegal in Florida. Revenge porn is illegal in almost every state and has been illegal in Florida since 2015.

You may have thought you were having fun taking spicy pictures or videos of your sexual partner. Now, you may be surprised when you are charged with sexual cyber harassment, commonly known as revenge porn.

It is essential to take sexual cyber harassment charges seriously, even if they are brought by an angry or jealous former sexual partner who is trying to hurt you.

Florida Law Prohibits Sexual Cyber Harassment

Florida Statute § 784.049 makes sexual cyber harassment a crime. These charges may be brought in addition to pornography charges, with other charges, or on their own.

Before you can be convicted of sexual cyber harassment, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. Specifically, the prosecution must prove the elements of the crime, as described below.

Publication of a Sexually Explicit Image of a Person

According to Florida law, an image includes photos, videos, and other representations of a person. A sexually explicit image means the image contains nudity or a person engaging in sexual conduct. In Florida, it is a crime to put a sexually explicit image of another person on an internet website without their consent.

The Image Contains or Conveys Personal Identification Information

Personal identification information is anything that identifies a specific person. This information may include but is not limited to a person’s name, address, email address, phone number, social security number, birth date, or unique physical characteristics.

Lack of Consent

Publication of a sexually explicit image online is only a crime if the person in the image did not give consent for you to publish the image.

Intent to Cause the Person Substantial Emotional Distress

A revenge porn, or sexual cyber harassment, conviction requires that you willfully and maliciously intend to cause the other person significant emotional distress. If you lack that intent, you should not be convicted of the crime.

Criminal Penalties for Revenge Porn

You could face jail time, fines, and the long-term consequences of a criminal record if you are convicted of sexual cyber harassment.

A first offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree. You could face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 if you are convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida.

Second or subsequent offenses are felonies of the third degree. Third-degree felonies have a potential sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

The alleged victim may also bring a civil lawsuit to get you to take down the image and collect monetary damages. Any money paid in a civil suit would be in addition to the fines paid as part of a criminal conviction.

Revenge Porn Defense

Not every sexual cyber harassment charge ends in a conviction. You have the right to contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer to discuss your legal rights and possible defense. Some potential defenses in revenge porn cases include:

  • Consent. If you had the person’s consent to publish the image, you did not commit a crime.
  • Mistaken identity. If someone else published the image, you should not be guilty of a crime.
  • Lack of intent. If you did not willfully or maliciously cause the person substantial emotional distress, you should not be found guilty of sexual cyber harassment.

Board-certified criminal trial lawyer Robert Malove will:

  • Review how the police and prosecution handled your case to make sure your constitutional rights were protected
  • Gather and thoroughly evaluate all available evidence
  • Advise you about your legal options

A criminal conviction could change your life, and you shouldn’t have to put your future at risk for a crime you did not commit.

The Law Offices of Robert David Malove regularly represent people accused of crimes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. We will leave no stone unturned as we investigate your case and build your defense strategy. Our goal is to help you through the legal crisis of being charged with sexual cyber harassment so that you can get on with your life.