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What You Need to Know about California’s New Revenge Porn Law (SB 255)

While you may feel that your obligations to your significant other end when the relationship is over, this may not be entirely true. “Revenge porn,” as defined by Senate Bill 255, occurs when a person takes a sexually revealing picture of a significant other and then uploads this to the Internet following a breakup with the intent to harm or seek revenge.1

This new law took effect Jan. 1, 2014. This serious offense makes you guilty of a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

How SB 255 Got its Legs

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During a three-and-a-half-year relationship with her boyfriend, Holly Jacobs, of Florida, sent nude photos to her boyfriend. Following the breakup, a collage of these nude photos went viral, accompanied by her full name and e-mail address. Jacobs felt inclined to quit her job and even change her name to protect herself from the abuse she faced online.2 She was ultimately unable to pursue a case against her ex-boyfriend because no laws existed to protect her.

Jacobs now lobbies for states to adopt laws protecting the victims of revenge porn, and California has followed suit. In the past, victims would have to sue in civil court, an expensive and time-consuming option. Now, if you have committed such a crime, your victim may have significant leverage in a case against you in California.

The new California revenge porn law seeks to be proactive and protect individuals from these exact situations. If you find yourself accused of these serious crimes, your experienced attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can help you.

How Can You Violate the Revenge Porn Law?

The newly amended bill makes it a misdemeanor for any person, with the intent to cause substantial emotional distress or humiliation to another person by means of an electronic communication device and without the consent of the other person, to distribute nude photos. It also goes on to specify exactly what is meant by “electronic communication device.” According to SB 255, an electronic communication device is defined as:

  • Telephones; Cell phones;
  • Computers;
  • Internet web pages;
  • All wireless devices (tablets, smartphones);
  • Video recorders;
  • Fax machines; Pagers.

If your act of distributing nude photos is “of a harassing nature” (alarming, annoying, seriously tormenting, or seriously terrorizing), you may be found guilty under the new law.

Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you are convicted under the new Revenge Porn law, it will have a major impact on your life. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending our clients for over 30 years. Although “revenge porn” is a relatively new concept, you can rest assured that Wallin & Klarich attorneys have remained well-versed and up to date with this new legislation.

With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, Wallin & Klarich has an established reputation of providing its clients with round-the-clock support in Southern California. Let us protect you.

Call us at (888) 280-6839 to discuss your case. We will be there when you call.


1. [http://www.decodedscience.com/california-enacts-new-law-revenge-porn/37652]
2. [http://www.dailynews.com/government-and-politics/20130825/california-lawmakers-seek-solution-to-growing-problem-of-internet-revenge-porn]

About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.