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Revenge Porn: What is it, and How Can You Defend Against it in Arizona?

We live in an age where everyone shares everything with everyone else. It is incredibly common in relationships for partners to share a sexy picture of themselves with others via text, Snapchat, or other social messaging devices. Obviously, the intent is usually that the picture stays within the confines of the relationship and that it not be distributed unless both parties agree otherwise. However, during breakups, anger, and sadness can sometimes make people do things they regret, like sharing their ex’s sexy pictures online. This is what is known as “revenge porn,” and Arizona is one of many states that penalizes this behavior.

Arizona’s revenge porn laws came into effect in 2016, and regulate the unlawful disclosure of images which depict a person in a state of nudity or sexual activities. The law defines “unlawful disclosure” as intentionally disclosing the image of another person in a state of nudity or engaging in sexual activity, while that person has reasonable expectations of privacy. In order for this provision to be applicable, the person should be easily identifiable either in the way the picture was taken or through context. Further, Arizona’s law says that the image had to be disclosed in an attempt to intentionally harm, intimidate or harass the person in the pictures.

Arizona punishes these kinds of offenses as Class 5 felonies, however, there are a few exceptions. For example, if an image is disclosed by electronic means the distributor will be charged with a Class 4 felony, and if a person threatens to disclose these images but does not actually do so, they will face a Class 1 misdemeanor charge. Class 5 felonies are punishable by up to 2 years in prison, plus fine, Class 4 felonies are punishable by up to 1.5 years and prison, plus fines and a Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and an up to $2,500 fine. On top of all this, a judge will determine whether the distributor should be registered as a sex offender.

As the above demonstrates, Arizona takes revenge porn very seriously, as it should. While there is no justification for disseminating revenge porn, our attorneys know that not everyone accused of revenge porn is guilty of meeting all of the elements of the crime. For example, the law is clear that the disclosure of the images must occur both knowingly and with the intent to harm the person on the pictures. After carefully listening to the circumstances of your case, our attorneys will determine whether you have a strong argument that you did not know you were distributing images, or that you did so but you did not intend to harm the person in them by distributing them.

At Blischak Law, we believe that everyone’s sexual relationships and preferences are private and to be respected. While there is no excuse for revenge porn, there is also no excuse for falsely accusing someone of distributing revenge porn. If you have been accused of revenge porn, the best decision you can make is to contact Blischak Law. We serve clients in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Yuma, Flagstaff, and Glendale areas, and are ready to help you. Contact us today.

Posted in: Sex Crime