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Revenge Porn Laws – California Penal Code 647(j)(4) PC

Revenge Porn Laws
Revenge porn is a serious crime under PC 647(j)(4).

Are You Seeking to Hire a Revenge Porn Attorney?

For over 35 years, the criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been defending clients accused of serious sex crimes. Being accused of a crime like revenge porn is a very serious matter that you should not take lightly. You face severe consequences if you are convicted of this crime, so you should speak to an experienced revenge porn lawyer who can guide you through the complex legal process.

A revenge porn conviction in California can change your life completely. You face up to six months in jail and expensive fines if you are convicted of this crime. More importantly, you will have to deal with the negative stigma of being convicted of revenge porn for the rest of your life. It could impact your ability to find and maintain employment and establish dating relationships.

Read below for more information on California’s complex revenge porn laws or call our law firm at (877) 466-5245 for free, immediate advice from an expert California revenge porn lawyer.

Why Hire Wallin & Klarich?

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The success of our criminal defense law firm has helped us achieve the highest of merits, including a 5 out of 5 AV rating on Lawyers.com, a 10 out of 10 rating on AVVO.com, and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Our experienced criminal defense lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have been helping people like you obtain the best possible outcomes in their cases for more than 35 years. Here are just a few testimonials provided by some of our previous clients who wanted to share their stories:

“I had no idea that ‘revenge porn’ was a crime. I thought I was within my legal rights to post images that were purposely sent to me. I couldn’t believe that I was facing jail time for a crime. I found Wallin & Klarich after doing an online search of revenge porn, and I made an appointment to meet with a lawyer ASAP. It was clear that my attorney had a deep understanding of revenge porn laws even though these laws were so new. My attorney helped me understand the laws and worked extremely hard to get me an incredible result in my case. I cannot thank Wallin & Klarich enough for the time and effort they put into my case and for making me feel like my case was in very good hands.”

– J. D.

“I could not believe it when I was accused of a crime for posting photos of my ex on a private online forum. I did not know where to turn, so I did some research about revenge porn laws online and I found Wallin & Klarich. I am so glad I found this law firm! The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich were incredible in explaining this law to me and listening to my side of the story. After talking to them, I felt like they truly cared about me and my case, and I knew that they were going to do everything they could to fight for me. Wallin & Klarich was able to help me obtain an amazing result in my case, and now I won’t have to go to jail for breaking a law I had never heard of. Thank you, Wallin & Klarich!”

– A.C.

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

You can place your trust in Wallin & Klarich. Our knowledgeable California revenge porn lawyers are committed to defending your rights and your freedom. Call us today for immediate help on your case.

For more information on California revenge porn laws, read below or call our skilled criminal defense attorneys at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation.


Revenge Porn Laws in California (SB 255)

Revenge porn
Revenge porn can be sent electronically or otherwise.

In 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 255 into law, making it a misdemeanor to create and distribute “revenge porn.” The law took effect Jan. 1, 2014. The law added a new section to California Penal Code Section 647, numbered as PC 647(j)(4).

Under the law, anyone who “photographs or records by any means the image of the intimate body part or parts of another identifiable person, under circumstances where the parties agree or understand that the image shall remain private, and the person subsequently distributes the image taken, with the intent to cause serious emotional distress, and the depicted person suffers serious emotional distress, is guilty of disorderly conduct and subject to that same punishment.”1

What this means is that it is illegal to post explicit images of someone online without their consent. If the images contain multiple people, it does not matter if you have the consent of one of the parties in the image. As long as one person who can be identified in the image did not give consent, you could be charged with violating California revenge porn laws.

Prosecution of Revenge Porn Charges in California (PC 647(j)(4))

In order to convict you of violating revenge porn laws under California Penal Code Section 647(j)(4), the prosecution must prove all of the following elements:

  • You have an image of the intimate body part of another identifiable person, or an image of that person engaging in sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation or masturbation,
  • You intentionally distributed that image by any means (electronic or otherwise),
  • There was an understanding between you and the person depicted in the image(s) that the image would remain private between you two,
  • You knew that distributing the image(s) could cause the person in the image to suffer serious emotional distress, and
  • Your actions caused the person in the image(s) to suffer serious emotional distress2

The law defines “intimate body parts” as any portion of genitalia and breasts below the top of the areola. Intimate body parts do not need to be completely exposed, as the bill includes any portion of genitalia or breasts visible through clothing which is less than opaque.

It is also important to note that the person in the image must be “identifiable.” This means if the image(s) you shared show an intimate body part, but there is no way to tell whose intimate body part is being depicted, you may not be convicted of this crime.

Sentencing and Punishment for Violating California Revenge Porn Laws

convicted of revenge porn
You face serious consequences if you are convicted of revenge porn.

A conviction for revenge porn under PC 647(j)(4) carries harsh penalties. The consequences you face will depend on the circumstances of your case.

If you are convicted of violating PC 647(j)(4), you face up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. This fine will be much more costly after factoring in penalty assessments and other court fees.

If the victim of the crime was a minor or if this is your second or subsequent offense for violating PC 647(j)(4), you face more serious penalties. You could be sentenced to 364 days in county jail and ordered to pay fines of up to $2,000.

Legal Defenses to Revenge Porn in California

Revenge porn laws are very complex and there are several elements to this crime that must be met in order for you to be convicted. That is why you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who has successfully handled revenge porn cases to represent you if you are accused of this crime.

Some of the valid legal defenses that our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys have used to successfully defend clients accused of revenge porn crimes include:

The person in the images is not identifiable – One of the important aspects of this crime is that the person depicted in the image(s) that you shared is identifiable. If you shared a cropped image where the identity of the person in the image is not identifiable, an attorney may have a valid defense to use in your case. It is important to note that faces are not the only identifying feature. Tattoos, birth marks, articles of clothing and items in the background of the image(s) could help identify the person depicted in the image(s).

You did not intentionally distribute the image – In order to convict you under California revenge porn laws, the prosecution must prove that you intentionally distributed the image(s) in question. So, for example, if you sent an email to a group of people and you attached the wrong image to the email by mistake, your attorney could have a valid defense in your case.

Sharing the image did not cause the alleged victim to suffer emotional distress – The most difficult element for the prosecution to prove in a revenge porn case is that the alleged victim suffered emotional distress because you shared the image(s). Many times, there is no physical evidence showing that a person suffered emotional distress. Therefore, your revenge porn lawyer may be able to argue that you did not intend to cause emotional distress by sharing the image(s) and the alleged victim did not actually suffer emotional distress as a result of the incident.

Frequently Asked Questions About Revenge Porn

Since California passed revenge porn laws, our attorneys have fielded many questions about these laws. People have called our office to try to get a better understanding of the law. Here are the most common questions they have asked:

1. Does my motivation have to be “revenge” in order to be convicted of this crime?

California calls this law the “revenge porn” law because most cases start when a person breaks up with his or her boyfriend, girlfriend, partner or spouse. The ex-significant other is angry, so he or she goes online and posts private nude photos that were sent before the relationship was over. However, this doesn’t mean that you had to have been motivated by revenge in order to be convicted of this crime – in fact, you could be convicted of this crime for sharing images of someone you had no dating relationship with. As long as you knew the person in the images could suffer emotional distress by you sharing the images, you could be convicted of this crime.

2. What if I deleted the images right after posting them?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “deleting” images from the internet these days. As soon as you share a post you may regret, it is likely that another person has already taken a screenshot and saved the image. However, it may help show that you did not intend to post the image or intend to cause the person in the image to suffer emotional distress if you deleted the image shortly after sharing it.

3. I accidentally shared a nude photo of my girlfriend. Can I be charged with this crime?

A lot of people in relationships send nude photos to each other. This is common. Therefore, a scenario where you are sending an image to someone and you accidentally clicked on and sent the wrong image is plausible. In this case, your relationship with your significant other may be in trouble, but your lawyer will have a valid legal defense to use to defend you if you are accused of violating revenge porn laws.

4. My girlfriend already has nude photos posted online. Can that be a legal defense to revenge porn charges?

The fact that your girlfriend or significant other has willingly posed for or shared explicit images online may be a weapon your criminal defense lawyer could use to defend you against this charge. Your revenge porn attorney could use this evidence to supplement a legal argument that the alleged victim did not suffer emotional distress based on your actions.

Call an Experienced Revenge Porn Lawyer at Wallin & Klarich Now

Revenge Porn Lawyers
Our skilled revenge porn lawyers can help you now!

If you are accused of violating California’s complex revenge porn laws, you should speak to an attorney who has experience successfully handling revenge porn cases. This is a complicated law with difficult elements to prove, so it is important that you hire an attorney who has a deep understanding of revenge porn laws in California.

At Wallin & Klarich, our experienced criminal defense lawyers have been successfully defending clients facing criminal charges for more than 35 years. Our lawyers have a track record of success when it comes to defending clients against revenge porn charges.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, our skilled and knowledgeable revenge porn lawyers are available near you no matter where you work or live.

Contact our law firm today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation regarding your case. We will get through this together.


1. [https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB255 ]
2. [https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB255 ]

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