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What Is Revenge Porn & Can You Face Criminal Charges?

Experienced Criminal Lawyers

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What Is Revenge Porn & Can You Face Criminal Charges?

Posted on February 15, 2021

Ross Lutz Calgary Lawyers REvenge Porn

We live in a society where most people walk around with a device that acts like a computer and camera. Phones allow individuals to connect to high-speed internet from wherever they are and instantly share photos and videos. With technology being easily accessible, many individuals use their computers and phones for many different purposes. This has led to an uptick in cybercrime, including sex crimes.

In particular, in the last five years, something that the legal world has had to deal with is “revenge porn.” Revenge porn, or non-consensual pornography, describes the act of receiving an intimate image or video from someone and then distributing it without their consent. Non-consensual pornography can also describe hidden or secret recordings and pictures and videos stolen off an individual’s computer or phone.

Non-Consensual Pornography

In the past, non-consensual pornography referred more to the physical act of printing nude photos to tape up somewhere or involved a physical videotape. With new technology, individuals can capture and send intimate images with ease. However, it’s just as easy to screenshot these images and share them with third parties without the sender’s consent.

In December 2014, the federal government criminalized the non-consensual sharing of intimate images after Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons’ deaths. If you are currently being charged with publishing an intimate photo without consent, it’s crucial to seek legal counsel immediately. These charges are serious. Largely, the laws around revenge porn exist to protect consent and privacy. This means that the law views distributing intimate photos or videos without permission very seriously.

What Is An Intimate Image?

An intimate image is any photo, video, or film where the pictured individual is nude or exposing their breasts, genitals, or anal area. Intimate photos also describe any media where an individual is explicitly engaged in sexual behaviour.

As mentioned above, photos or videos that are secretly taken also fall under the jurisdiction of non-consensual pornography. This includes recording an individual in a voyeuristic manner, such as shooting “upskirt photos,” or hiding a camera and recording a sexual encounter without full disclosure and consent.

Lastly, non-consensual pornography also includes pictures that may not be of a sexual nature but were sent with a reasonable expectation of privacy. These pictures can consist of images taken in the bathroom or bedroom.

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Criminal Charges For Revenge Porn

Suppose you are convicted of publishing or sharing an intimate image without the permission of the sender. In that case, you are looking at an indictable offence with a maximum sentence of five years. Alternatively, you could be facing an offence punishable by summary conviction.

Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, there may be additional charges. These charges could include voyeurism, extortion, criminal harassment, obscene publication, or even child pornography. If you are only charged for non-consensual pornography, you do not have to register as a sex offender.

When you face charges for revenge porn, it is essential to seek a professional criminal defence lawyer. These charges are life-changing, and a defence lawyer can help prepare your defence and find the best outcome for your particular case.

What If There Were Minors Involved?

Canada’s laws do not punish minors for consensually sending intimate images to other minors. The law also does not punish juveniles for having private pictures of themselves. If someone were to leak or otherwise distribute intimate photographs or videos that picture a minor, they would be looking at child pornography charges. Even minors can be charged with distributing child pornography if they share intimate images of other minors without their consent.

These charges are severe and carry severe consequences and punishments. If you are being charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, you need to speak to a criminal lawyer immediately.

If I'm In These Pictures, Can I Freely Share Them?

If you are present in the intimate photos or videos, and there is someone else present and involved, you must obtain explicit consent before sharing these images. Regardless of the fact that you are present in these pictures, you must have their full consent before sharing anything if another individual is involved.

In Canada, many revenge porn cases involve material consensually filmed during a relationship and was later shared without consent to humiliate or get revenge on their partner. If you share these pictures or videos without permission, you could be looking at a criminal charge.

Can I Be Charged If Someone Else Sends Me Revenge Porn?

If you are sent revenge porn, there are currently no criminal charges for viewing these images or videos. However, suppose you share and continue to distribute this material to others. In that case, you could face charges even if you were not the original person to leak the sensitive images or video.

If you are currently facing charges for sharing intimate images without consent, contact our Ross Lutz Barristers team. Our experienced lawyers are here to help defend your freedom and pursue the best possible outcome for your case. Please don’t wait. Contact our team today.