Does Florida Have a Revenge Porn Law?

Technology allows people to share images with others conveniently. Sometimes, between two consenting adults, those photos and/or videos may contain nudity or sexual acts. At the time, such exchanges may be welcome. But if the relationship sours, the images may become a source of great contention and may result in criminal charges if one of the people accuse the other of sharing the materials with others.

Sexual Cyberharassment

Florida does have a revenge porn law, and, under Statute 784.049, it's referred to as sexual cyberharassment. The legislature enacted it, as it recognized that people might post sexually explicit images or videos of another on the Internet or transmit them electronically to others. The law provides that such conduct can have serious psychological repercussions on the person depicted. As such, anyone who knowingly engages in sexual cyberharassment may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.

For the State to prove that a person is guilty of the offense, it must show that:

  • The defendant posted a sexually explicit image of another person online or sent it to others electronically;
  • The image had the other individual's personal identification information on it;
    • Personal identification information can include but is not limited to, a name, email address, physical address, date of birth, or physical representation
  • The defendant posted or sent the image willfully and maliciously to harm the other person;
    • This means that the defendant knew what they were doing and they didn't have a lawful reason for their actions or they acted with malicious intent
  • The person depicted in the image did not give consent for it to be disseminated; and
  • The victim's expectation of privacy was violated

Often, people have sexually explicit material of another individual because that individual willfully sent it, meaning they weren't coerced or forced and the other person had permission to possess it. The law recognizes this, and further states that being freely given an image depicting nudity or sexually explicit conduct does not allow the receiver to do with it what they want. The individual depicted in the material still has a reasonable expectation of privacy, and willfully sending images to someone else does not strip them of that. Thus, regardless of how the other person came into possession of the image, they can still be convicted of an offense for sharing it with others without the individual's consent.

What Happens If Someone's Convicted of Revenge Porn?

As mentioned earlier, sexual cyberharassment is a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction can lead to a jail term of up to 1 year. However, if the defendant has previously been convicted of this offense, they can be charged with a third-degree felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to 5 years.

In addition to criminal punishments, the defendant may face civil penalties if the victim decides to take civil action.

Have you been charged with a crime in Daytona Beach? At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our attorneys will put their 40+ years of combined experience to work for you to challenge the accusation. Call us at (386) 693-1637 or contact us online today.