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Sex Crimes

Revenge Porn


"Revenge Porn" is a modern phenomena that is prosecuted in both civil and criminal courts

Houston Revenge Porn Lawyers

While this might be a relatively new concept in Texas law, revenge porn is quite common in today’s society. Adults are free to take photos of themselves and send them to whoever they want, but when those photos are shared with third parties without the person’s permission, it can lead to problems for everyone involved. The person depicted could have their reputation ruined, while the person who shared the photo can be prosecuted both civilly and criminally.

If you or someone you love is being accused of sending revenge porn or are a victim of revenge porn, you need an experienced Revenge Porn attorney familiar with this relatively new law.

At the Schiffer Law Firm, we will help you with your revenge porn issue with compassion and help to get the problem, threats, and harassment to stop.

What is Revenge Porn?

Revenge porn is best explained as when an individual shares with a third party a sexually explicit photo or video of someone else without that person’s consent. It is generally expected that such publication will cause reputational harm to the person in the photo or video. For example, if your significant other sends you a nude photo for your own private possession and you then break up and post that photo on the internet to embarrass them: that is considered revenge porn.

Here, without consent or another defense, it doesn’t matter why the victim sent the photo or video in the first place. The point is that if there was a belief that the photo or video would be kept private, and yet it was later posted for others to see, it goes against the “unlawful disclosure” statute.

In Section 21.16 of the Texas Penal Code, it states that a crime is committed if:

Similarly, Section 21.16(c) makes it illegal to threaten a person with the publishing of intimate materials without consent in order to get their way (blackmail). Lastly, under 21.16(d), it also is a crime to promote the visual material on a website or forum knowing the character and content of it.

Proving Revenge Porn

Prosecuting revenge porn isn’t as easy as you might think it is. If you’re being charged with revenge porn, a prosecutor has to prove that you are the person who disclosed or shared the intimate material and that the victim was identifiable in the material before anything else. Further, the prosecution must attempt to prove that the victim was harmed in some way by the disclosure and that the victim had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Even with all of this, as the law stands in Texas, revenge porn cases face a lot of hurdles. For example, there are issues about where the line is between privacy and freedom of expression under the law. This has made prosecutors slightly apprehensive when trying revenge porn cases. This doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook; it just means your necessity for a highly experienced attorney is paramount.

Former Revenge Porn Clients

Removing and Preventing Revenge Porn

The most common client we have is where an individual has been either threatened that their photos or videos will be circulated publicly or privately with an intent to harass, torment, and embarrass, or an individual has already published them. The client simply wants the posts to stop and for the publisher to know that if they do not stop their continued actions, both criminal and civil legal actions will be taken.

Whether it is a scorned ex-lover, stalker, or malicious individual, the majority of the time the risk of criminal charges and expensive litigation is enough to get them to stop. Nevertheless, nothing is guaranteed and we are here to work with the client as long as necessary to ensure they are made whole.

Can I Sue Someone Who Stole or Is Using My OnlyFans or Pornhub Content for Money?

The short answer is Yes. But as it always is in law, the strategy and outcome of success in every case depend on many unique factors. For example, Schiffer Law Firm has helped advise content creators’ on OnlyFans whose photos and videos were stolen and used on third-party accounts for money – ultimately stealing from them. Modern adult content sites like OnlyFans and Pornhub have millions of unique visitors a day, which makes it a lucrative scam to steal copyrighted material from content creators – even if it was produced solely on someone’s phone in their bedroom.

It is important that if you have an OnlyFans or Pornhub account that you contact an attorney to advise you on best practices to protect your content and prevent piracy. Nevertheless, if someone has already pirated your material, you need to act swiftly to insure you protect your image and profits.

 

Possible Punishments for Revenge Porn

Violation of the law was originally a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines. Lawmakers have upgraded the crime to a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in a state jail and up to a $10,000 fine.

Along with that, you can also be prosecuted civilly. In civil court, victims of revenge porn can demand compensation for actual damages (job loss, lost profits, etc.) as well as require the defendant to pay for court costs, attorneys fees, and potentially damages for mental pain and suffering, which in recent years have reached into the millions of dollars in some cases.

Further Ramifications

When you are convicted of a felony, you face additional consequences after your initial punishment. You’ll have a criminal record which will be a matter of public record. This means that anyone who wants to do a background check on you (potential employers, landlords, state or federal certification boards, etc.) will have full access to see your conviction.

Sex Offender Registration

As it stands, people convicted of crimes regarding revenge porn aren’t required to register as a sex offender. However, this is very possible to change. If you’re convicted of other charges along with a revenge porn charge you very well could be required to register as a sex offender.

Other ramifications can also be:

It’s important to remember that having the consent of the victim for creating or receiving the material in the first place is not a valid defense. It is the subsequent use of that material that matters.

Why you Need a Revenge Porn Attorney

You should never try to fight against revenge porn alone. If you or someone you love is being accused of this crime or is the victim of this crime call our firm immediately. Our sex crimes lawyers have over 45 years of combined experience.

Don’t wait any longer. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can help end this nightmare.

Call today to set up a confidential in-office or virtual meeting.