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Posted on April 26, 2016 in Sex Crimes

Arizona Revenge Porn Crimes

In January, Arizona state lawmakers passed a bill that made the intentional sharing of sexual video content or photos of a former partner – without permission and with the intent to harass, intimidate, or harm the person – a felony. House Bill 2001 included an emergency clause that allowed it go into immediate effect upon Gov. Doug Ducey’s signature. Commonly known as Arizona revenge porn, this activity has caused personal and professional damage to people in the past and can follow them the rest of their lives due to the permanent nature of digital files. Arizona is now one of 27 states in the country that have passed revenge porn laws in the hopes of preventing further devastation caused by jilted lovers who distribute private images without permission.

What Qualifies as Arizona Revenge Porn?

The House bill has provisions that define what constitutes revenge porn in the state of Arizona, summarized as follows:

  • Any image of an identifiable person depicted in a state of nudity or engaged in sexual acts.
  • A reasonable expectation of privacy was held by the depicted person.
  • The image is distributed with the intent to intimidate, harass, or harm the depicted person.

The activity would have to qualify under all three stipulations in some manner for it to qualify as Arizona revenge porn in a court of law. The distribution of the images can occur via digital means or physical means, and the image can be a photo or video. “Harm” can mean any emotional, physical, or financial distress.

Generally, cases of revenge porn have in the past been of men using technology to harm ex-lovers after being jilted. Photos and videos have been shared across social media, added to revenge porn sites, and threatened to be distributed to parents or family members with the intent of causing distress or harm. These instances have resulted in women feeling panicked, ashamed, and humiliated by people in the community who recognize the images.

Some groups fought the law, saying that it treads on the constitutional right of free speech and is too broad. Local photographers, bookstore owners, and publishers are concerned that the bill could land them in prison for displaying or selling nude images, even if jilted lovers didn’t distribute them. However, the state has reaffirmed that there must be the intent to harm or harass the person for a conviction to be made.

What are the Repercussions if Convicted?

In Arizona, a violation of this law qualifies as a Class 5 felony, punishable by a presumptive two-year term, followed by an aggravated term of two and a half years in state prison. If the image is disclosed by electronic means, it would be a Class 4 felony. Even if a person threatens to disclose images, but doesn’t actually do it, it can qualify as a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and fines of $2,500.

Your Arizona Sex Crime Lawyer

This brand new law has serious repercussions for those who are convicted or accused of revenge porn, or any similar Internet sex crime activity. The Arizona revenge porn law hasn’t been in effect for long, and state lawmakers are still reworking it. However, those in charge of the law are passionate about upholding it, and consequently are reprimanding convicted people more harshly than they might deserve.

If you’ve been accused of an Arizona revenge porn crime, you need a skilled Phoenix sex crime attorney on your side. At Orent Law Offices, Craig Orent has more than 25 years of criminal defense experience. Internet sex crimes face severe penalties upon conviction, and can haunt you for the rest of your life. For a Phoenix criminal lawyer who will work tirelessly on your defense strategy, and who knows how to mitigate charges down to less harsh penalties, contact us today for a free consultation.