New Laws for 2015: Revenge Porn

New Laws for 2015: Revenge Porn .

Tempted to post that intimate picture of your ex-spouse or partner or former lover on Facebook or LinkedIn? Better not do it unless you want to pay fines, risk a stay in the county jail, not to mention a lawsuit, and a criminal record!

California Penal Code section 647(j)(4) makes it illegal to distribute a photo of the private parts of an identifiable person, or to post a photo of a person engaged in sexual intercourse or other sexual activity, if the distribution is done with the intent of causing emotional distress to the person whose photo is posted.

So that racy selfie your beloved sent to you and to you alone, with the reasonable expectation it was between the two of you, is not yours to use to humiliate your now ex-partner. That would mean you cannot physically show a photo of him/her that you had on your phone, or post it on Instagram, assuming you intend to cause emotional distress.

That means that your co-worker accidentally seeing the photo on your phone or computer is not a violation of this law (Although it may show a lack of common sense on your part or the fact your co-worker has a serious problem with boundaries!)

Penal code section 647 is a real criminal “catch-all section” that covers everything from looking for a prostitute to being drunk and disorderly, from being a “peeping tom” to installing cameras in dressing rooms and tanning booths.

In fact, until “loitering” statutes were found to be unconstitutionally vague, “loitering” was part of CA Penal Code 647. The violations alleged in this section are all misdemeanors. Jail time is not mandatory for a violation of 647(j)(4) but a sentence of up to one year is a maximum sentence for a misdemeanor unless the sentence is otherwise stated in the Code.

If you or someone you know is accused of a crime, arrested, or contacted by police, contact San Jose criminal defense attorney Maureen Baldwin at (408) 279-4450 to learn your options today!