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Revenge Porn Law & Defense

Penal Code 647(j)(4)

Information on the crime of revenge porn is found at California penal code section 647(j)(4).

What is Revenge Porn?

Revenge porn means to reveal or distribute sexually explicit images or videos of a person, typically by a former sexual partner, without consent, for the purpose of causing the person distress or embarrassment.

Revenge Porn Law

A defendant is guilty of revenge porn when he or she intentionally distributes the image of the intimate body part or parts of another person, or an image of the person depicted engaged in an act of sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation, sexual penetration, or an image of masturbation by the person depicted or in which the person depicted participates, in circumstances in which the persons agree or understand that the image shall remain private, the person distributing the image knows or should know that distribution of the image will cause serious emotional distress, and the person depicted suffers that distress (PC 647(j)(A)(4)).

A person intentionally distributes an image described in subparagraph (A) when he or she personally distributes the image, or arranges, specifically requests, or intentionally causes another person to distribute that image (PC 647(j)(4)(B)).

An “intimate body part” means any portion of the genitals, the anus and in the case of a female, also includes any portion of the breasts below the top of the areola, that is either uncovered or clearly visible through clothing (PC 647(j)(4)(C)).

Sentence & Punishment for Revenge Porn

Revenge porn is classified as a misdemeanor under PC 647(j)(4). There are several variations of criminal charges of PC 647(j)(4) depending on the circumstances of the case. The following is brief summary of the punishment and possible sentence for any particular charge.

PC 647(j)(4)(A) or 647(j)(4)(B): Distribute nude images with intent to humiliate. If found guilty, the defendant may be sentenced up to 180 days in jail.

PC 647(j)(4)(A) or 647(j)(4)(B): Distribute nude images with intent to humiliate with a prior conviction for the same. If found guilty, the defendant may be sentenced up to 1 year in jail.

PC 647(j)(4)(A) or 647(j)(4)(B): Distribute nude images of a minor with intent to humiliate the victim. If found guilty, the defendant may face up to 1 year in jail.

Sex offender registration. It is uncommon, but not unauthorized, for a judge to order a defendant to register as a sex offender for any conviction of PC 647(j)(3) or 647(j)(4) if the judge finds that the defendant committed the crime out of sexual compulsion (PC 290.006).

Other penalties may include: harsh probation terms, restraining orders, restitution to victims, fines and court fees, loss of professional license and loss of immigration status or deportation (for non-United States citizens).

Defense to Charges of Revenge Porn

Common defenses that are used in the face of revenge porn charges include:

  • Consent: Consent to share a sex tape with a another person is an absolute defense to PC 647(j)(3) and 647(j)(4) charges. However, consent to being video recorded or photographed is not the same as consent to distribute or share a private sex tape. When a person sends another person a private video or photograph of a sexual nature there may be implied consent to distribute or share the video or photograph with other persons depending on the circumstances.
  • Accidental distribution: or sharing of a sex tape is a defense. PC 647(j)(3) and 647(j)(4) crimes require that the defendant purposefully share the sex tape before the defendant may be found guilty.
  • Statute of limitations: The district attorney has one year from the date of distribution or sharing of a sex tape or photograph in which to prosecute a revenge porn case or in a lawful civil proceeding.
  • Video or photograph of sexual activity is distributed in the course of reporting an unlawful activity.
  • Other defenses include: coerced confessions by police, police misconduct leading to a suppression of evidence, mistake of fact, and more. 

If you are charged with the crime of revenge porn, or penal code 647(j)(3) or 647(j)(4), contact our criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation. Our defense attorneys are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, answer all of your questions and discuss your defense options. Call today!

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Criminal Defense Attorneys

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PC 647(j)(4): Revenge Porn Defense

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Crimes related to revenge porn include

  • Video or photograph a person inside a room without consent PC 647(j)(3)(A)
  • Photograph a minor in undergarments PC 647(j)(2)
  • Video or photograph a person in undergarments without consent PC 647(j)(2)
  • Peeking into a bathroom, dressing room, or tanning salon PC 647(j)(1)
  • Peeking into a room while loitering PC 647(i)

California Revenge Porn Law & Defense / PC 647(j), 647(j)(3), & 647(j)(4)(A)

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