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Revenge porn lawyers Los Angeles

In the world of torts and intentional acts of harm, non-violent offenses are at times severely punished. New laws are often created to deal with the changing world and to address issues that were previously not prevalent. One such issue concerns revenge pornography, which is also known as sex-extortion, sextortion, or nonconsensual pornography. Revenge porn required numerous amendments, especially as the internet and ease of communication and sharing of media became commonplace. There are many individuals who come to us with questions concerning revenge porn and the actions they can take to fight back. Our law firm, the Downtown LA Law Group, has handled numerous revenge porn torts on the behalf of victims, and we believe that you should be adequately informed and appropriately knowledgeable about the laws. Revenge porn lawyers Los Angeles | Are You the Victim of Revenge Porn?

What is revenge porn?

There are various ways that revenge porn is defined across the country, but in California, it is defined as “the distribution of one or more sexually explicit photos of someone else, without the subject’s permission.” It can also include videos and is not merely limited to photos. To some extent, it can include sexually explicit messages. Some examples of revenge porn can be found below:
  • A disgruntled ex-boyfriend of a woman found out that she began dating a new partner. He was angry and jealous of her blossoming relationship, so he decided to find the old explicit photos she had sent to him when they were still dating and then redistribute them to their mutual friends, her family members, and her coworkers.
  • A girl saved nude photos of herself to her private drop-box on her phone. A hacker broke in to her account an stole the photos, reposting them on various websites on the internet.
  • An employer found out that one of his workers had taken nude videos of herself and had them removed from various websites after they were spread without her consent. He decided to find these videos and anonymously send them to all the other workers at the business. His actions caused the worker to quit and face ostracization from her coworkers.
  • A woman got into an argument with her roommates, a pair of friends who were dating. She knew that they were not home at certain periods of the day, so she decided to install a hidden camera in their room to record them having sex. She then threatened to post the video around online to try and ruin their lives and reputations, as well as to extort money due to her lack of payments in the house.
Revenge porn does not need to have an element of monetary gain behind it. It can be as simple as vindictive behavior that is meant to torment or cause discomfort for those in the photos. It may also be a power play; many individuals like to exert control over others, and having the ability to distribute explicit and compromising photos and potentially ruin careers and choices is alluring to some. There are various websites that feature many pornographic images and videos. These websites are often the main spots where revenge porn is uploaded, and it is often downloaded time and time again and reuploaded elsewhere. Within a matter of days, the images and videos may be preserved in the deepest annals of the internet and may not have any trace to an original source. Some websites, like Pornhub, have proclaimed that they are anti-revenge porn and will take all necessary actions to remove it from their website. The issue is that a complaint may not be filed for months after the content has been uploaded.

Los Angeles Revenge Porn Defense Attorney

What is revenge porn? Fortunately, there are many laws that punish revenge porn and ensure that the perpetrators are dissuaded from carrying out the actions again in the future. However, there is almost no way to keep the pornographic material from spreading once it has already been posted onto the internet or shared elsewhere.

What are laws that prohibit revenge porn?

Common questions:
  • What are sexual privacy laws?
  • What is sexual extortion?
  • Can I sue if someone sent nude pictures to my friend?
  • Can I sue for someone posting my nude pictures without permission?
Nonconsensual pornography is prohibited in 34 states. California is very specific about the actions that are prohibited in nonconsensual pornography – the law states that it is illegal to “distribute the images wherein the victim is identifiable, with the intent to cause serious emotional harm or distress to the victim, thus causing the victim to actually suffer such distress.” Therefore, it is not illegal to redistribute nonconsensual pornography if the individual does not consider it an issue.
This may sound improbable, but it can happen in cases of sex workers, for example, whose images and videos are present behind pay-walls. If they do wish to sue, they could sue for copyright infringement, but it may not carry the additional weight of revenge porn. Extortion is also the act of requesting funds through the use of blackmail, exposing truths, spreading lies, and more. When it is paired with possession and possible distribution of sexually explicit photos, it becomes sexual extortion. Using revealing videos and pictures for blackmail is outright illegal. Specific California laws pertaining to revenge porn can be found below: Penal Code – PEN, Part 1: Of Crimes and Punishments, Title 15: Miscellaneous Crimes, Chapter 2: Of Other and Miscellaneous Offenses, Section 647: (2) A person who uses a concealed camcorder, motion picture camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly videotape, film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another identifiable person under or through the clothing being worn by that other person, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person, without the consent or knowledge of that other person, with the intent to arouse, appeal to, or gratify the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person and invade the privacy of that other person, under circumstances in which the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Summary: It is illegal to record an individual with a device without consent to satisfy sexual behaviors when that person expects privacy. (3) (A) A person who uses a concealed camcorder, motion picture camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly videotape, film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another identifiable person who may be in a state of full or partial undress, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person, without the consent or knowledge of that other person, in the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which that other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of that other person. Summary: It is illegal to use a remote recording device to record an individual for the same purpose as listed above. (4) (A) A person who intentionally distributes the image of the intimate body part or parts of another identifiable person, or an image of the person depicted engaged in an act of sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation, sexual penetration, or an image of masturbation by the person depicted or in which the person depicted participates, under circumstances in which the persons agree or understand that the image shall remain private, the person distributing the image knows or should know that distribution of the image will cause serious emotional distress, and the person depicted suffers that distress. Summary: It is illegal to distribute explicit photos if the agreement was private and there were elements of distress and knowledge thereof. Civil Code – Civ: Division 3: Obligations, Part 3: Obligations Imposed By Law, Section 1708.85. (a) A private cause of action lies against a person who intentionally distributes by any means a photograph, film, videotape, recording, or any other reproduction of another, without the other’s consent, if (1) the person knew that the other person had a reasonable expectation that the material would remain private, (2) the distributed material exposes an intimate body part of the other person, or shows the other person engaging in an act of intercourse, oral copulation, sodomy, or other act of sexual penetration, and (3) the other person suffers general or special damages. Summary: A personal lawsuit can be filed against someone who willingly distributes nonconsensual pornography, in which the victim is affected. Note that the intention of distress is unnecessary in such claims. What are laws that prohibit revenge porn?These instances of nonconsensual pornography are generally not false, they are merely invasions of privacy and redistribution of sensitive or explicit material. Therefore, the normal defamation laws concerning slander and libel do not directly apply. Instead, there are sub-laws within these torts that provide outlines and specific rulings. Some were provided above, while others are more meticulous.

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Cases and Punishments for Revenge Porn

There is a rather small catalog of cases that deal with revenge porn. The reason is simple: the advent of the internet was the only invention that made such actions prevalent. Previously, photos and videos needed to be developed and taken to stores or had to be kept on physical copies in the home. As of late, though, a few cases include the following:
  • A Californian woman had an ex-boyfriend who kept explicit photos and videos she had sent them during the time they were dating. Once she broke up with him, he began to spread the content in whatever way he could. The man, named Elam, uploaded the content to social media websites, pornographic websites, dating websites and apps, and more. He also pretended to be his ex-girlfriend and requested that others send her their own nude photos. He provided her private phone number, address, and other contact details, leading to severe harassment. In the end, Elam’s actions were deemed intentionally distress-inducing. He was made to pay his ex-girlfriend nearly $6.5 million in damages for copyright infringement, emotional distress, and punitive damages.
  • A North Carolina woman filed a claim against her ex-husband and his girlfriend after they engaged in a revenge porn campaign against her. Clark and Barrett, the man and female couple, put up her revealing photos on various websites. He also stalked her and lied about her, going so far as to claim that she was afflicted with a sexually transmitted disease and that he suffered an eating disorder. The couple was made to pay out $3.2 million in damages.
  • These criminal cases resulted in millions for the defendant. Civil and criminal cases can result in different types of damages, and as such, they require different burdens of proof. Criminal charges require that the plaintiff (or the District Attorney) prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the actions were deliberate and had motive or intent. Civil claims, on the other hand, are often based on negligence; in cases of revenge porn, they are based on the effect of the damages, and you only have to prove that there was emotional distress. The potential punishments for distributing revenge porn in any way include:
    • Jail time (between 45 days and 1 year)
    • Fines (often a minimum of $1,000, but can exceed that)
    • A combination of jail time and fines
    • Registering as a sex offender if the victim was under the age of 18 years old
    Some acts are more severe than others. For example, recording someone with a device with the intent to distribute the content is considered a felony in California, which can result in up to 3 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or a combination of both.

    Los Angeles Revenge Porn Defense Attorney

    Cases and Punishments for Revenge Porn For misdemeanor offenses, the perpetrator must have engaged in deliberate distribution of explicit photos of an identifiable individual. He also must have known that the images or videos were intended to remain private and were likely to cause severe emotional stress. The victim must then have suffered the actual emotional distress or suffered real-life consequences from the exposure. Therefore, the nature, effects, intentions, and circumstances of each revenge porn case will highly factor into the potential punishment. It is important that you research the law and uncover all the truths you can, or speak with a revenge porn lawsuit attorney.

    Procedure to Filing a Revenge Porn Lawsuit

    Common Questions:
    • I was a victim of revenge porn. Can I sue?
    • Do I have a case if my employer sent nude pictures to my family?
    • Can I seek monetary recover if someone sent nude photos to my employer?
    • Can I sue for someone posting sexually explicit pictures without permission?
    • How can I file a lawsuit if someone sent nude photos of me to family members without me knowing?
    Essentially, you have the ability to sue the perpetrator if he or she took your nude photos or explicit videos and had them posted on porn sites, emailed them to your friends and family members or employer, texted them to mutual acquaintances, posted them on social media, or uploaded them to various websites. Because of how difficult it is to get nude photos and videos taken down, the process may be long and arduous. Many individuals have opted to go to the State Copyright Office to copyright their pictures and likenesses so that they can effectively send cease-and-desist letters to the websites and servers. However, the spreading of photos on the internet is extremely fast. As soon as a photo is uploaded to a popular website, it is likely saved and redistributed dozens of times. Finding all of the websites and sending them letters may be fruitless, as the local files will still be on hard drives, even though some photos are still on private servers and networks. It is important that you then locate the messages or exchanges in which you sent the individual these photos and videos. You should include any relevant discussion leading up to the exchange, including talks of not sharing the photos, wishes of privacy, warnings of redistributing, and more. If the photos were taken against your will, such as when an individual broke into your laptop or accessed your private cloud to collect the images, you may be able to provide an access log showing that you were not the only one who got into it and made modifications, downloaded anything, or uploaded anything. The seizure of such property is highly illegal. It is possible that you could have witnesses testify on your behalf as to the nature of the relationship or the images that were shared. You may have expressed to the individual that you sent photos that were intended to remain private, for example. The witness can also speak on the previous actions of the other person and support your statements of the degree of emotional stress you suffered through. If you went to any therapy sessions or received other kinds of treatment, you could provide these records or receipts. The therapist can include findings, notes of your condition, and the treatment that was administered. It may be very difficult to prove that the individual spread your photos, so you should do all you can to get hard evidence. You can provide usernames that are connected to his phone number, messages he sent to other individuals showing that he distributed the content, forum posts showing the images, images in a shared account, videos and photos on his computer, and more. This is fairly difficult to acquire, though, and requires expert witnesses and hard-working detectives and investigators. Once you have put together as much evidence you can, it is wise to search for a lawyer with experience in revenge porn cases. It can be difficult to try and handle a lawsuit by yourself with no previous litigating or negotiation experience. If you are not careful, you won’t be able to win anything, bring up the charges, or move forward with a claim. An attorney can work on your claim, hire expert witnesses, investigate further, subpoena for evidence, and more. You might not have the energy, time, or knowledge of how to put together a lawsuit. Your best chance of success is with the assistance of a skilled revenge porn lawyer in Los Angeles.

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    Prevention of Revenge Porn

    Los Angeles Revenge Porn Defense Attorney Revenge porn and nonconsensual pornography can be extremely difficult to remove once it has been disseminated on the internet. Too often, the images will remain there indefinitely, and you will have to go through the process of getting them taken down ever few months. Some parties have said that the best method to prevent revenge porn is to simply not take explicit photos and videos. However, this has issues with bodily autonomy and removes the agency of the perpetrators, all while limiting what individuals can do in the safety, comfort, privacy, and intimacy of their own homes. To protect your personal content, it is important that you have security measures activated on all your devices and you do not try to transfer any data over unsecure networks. Your Cloud accounts, Drop-box, and other file storage accounts should have hard-to-crack passwords and recovery options if someone other than you accesses them. You shouldn’t let anyone unknown use your devices, and you should not allow random individuals to follow you on social media where they can potentially acquire more information. The threat of punishment by way of jail time and fines is an effective way to deter some people from committing revenge porn crimes, but at times, it is not enough. It is important that you pursue all the most severe options for perpetrators – letting the individual off without maximum punishment is a problem and helps no one.

    Statute of Limitations for Revenge Porn Lawsuits

    Common Questions:
  • How much time do I have to sue someone for sending nude pictures of myself to others?
  • How long do I have to sue if someone sent inappropriate photos to my employer?
  • What is the deadline to sue for revenge porn?
  • The statute of limitations is the time limit during which you can file a lawsuit against an offender. If you do not file a lawsuit within that period of time, you will not be able to receive any damages or the defendant will not be able to get charged for his actions. It is important that you take legal action within an appropriate amount of time and act quickly to ensure that your evidence is preserved and not ruined or lost. Too often, people will hesitate to sue, which can negatively impact their claims. In California, the statute of limitations to file a defamation claim for libel or slander is 1 year from the date of the occurrence. The statute of limitations for a misdemeanor criminal charge is also 1 year from the date of the incident. This is a relatively short amount of time to file a claim, though, and many people may not take action in time. If you are uncertain of how much time you have left on your lawsuit or what the statute of limitations is no your case, you should contact a lawyer who knows the proper statutes of limitations and can set up a plan to get your documents and files out on deadline.

    Revenge Porn Lawsuit Compensation

    Common Questions:
    • What is the average value of revenge porn lawsuits?
    • How much are revenge porn settlements worth?
    • What is the average settlement value of a revenge porn claim?
    • Is the average case settlement for a revenge porn claim a lot of money?
    As mentioned above, there have been lawsuits against individuals that have resulted in millions of dollars of compensation due to revenge porn smear campaigns. These cases also featured stalking and harassment by the perpetrators, though, and the ensuing consequences were severe. It is important that you pursue every penny you deserve if you are filing a civil claim against a person to pursue damages stemming from emotional distress.

    Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.

    The value of your case will be largely dependent on the consequences of the distribution of the pornography. For example, if you wound up losing your job and your career was sullied or tarnished, you could find yourself suing for a fair amount of lost wages. If your career did not take a hit, though, you wouldn’t be able to receive any reimbursement. Defamation claims are slightly different than personal injury claims because there is a lack of medical expenses and physical injuries to consider, but the agent responsible for the case will still consider the factors. It is possible that you can earn the following types of compensation:
    • Lost income, benefits, promotions, commissions, and other types of pay from work, as well as future loss of wages if you were blacklisted from a job or if your employer was making it hard for you to move to another career, position, or company
    • Pain and suffering damages to cover anxiety, fear, PTSD, emotional distress, psychological trauma, mental scars, and more that arose from the incident and the ongoing nature of it
    • Punitive damages, which are additional forms of monetary compensation handed out in times of gross negligence or when there is a deliberate intent to cause harm; given that the individuals are engaging in distributing revenge porn, it is no question that the revenge is intentional. These damages are often very high and are meant solely to punish the individual and dissuade him from partaking in such actions again, but they are unfortunately viewed as too severe or excessive by many courts and judges.
    We will see to it that you are fairly paid for the losses you suffered and that the perpetrator is adequately punished. He may also be made to pay fines to the State of California, although that is an issue reserved for criminal court and prosecutors.

    Skilled Revenge Porn Lawyer in Los Angeles

    There are many ways that you can be about starting a lawsuit against a perpetrator for distributing nonconsensual pornography, but the best one involves finding and hiring an experienced revenge porn attorney. We highly recommend coming to our firm for assistance with your lawsuit, as we know the most successful strategies and methods to win your case, and we will stop at nothing to negotiate a fair deal and win you every penny you deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation, you can call our offices today. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and e will always be available to take your call. We encourage you to ask us any questions that are bothering you or that you want the answers to and we will give you our expert knowledge and opinions on the issues. We will also look over your case and its details and tell you how much we think it is worth, what we will do moving forward, and how the legal process works. If you want to hire us to handle your lawsuit, we will ensure that you do not spend a dime of your own money on the case. We will give you our zero fee guarantee – this states that you will spend nothing out of pocket on the case. We will cover all the costs ourselves from start to finish. If we win your claim, we will be paid via a partial portion of the settlement we bring to you fo the guilty party. If we do not win your case, we get no money whatsoever, and you will walk away from our firm owing us no debts. Revenge porn should be punished accordingly, and we are here to help. Get in touch with our revenge porn lawyers in Los Angeles today by calling the Downtown LA Law Group for more assistance.
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