With the rise of smartphone technology and social media, ‘sexting’ and sending naked photos has become normal for some people. If you have sent a naked photo to someone who did not ask for it, you may be wondering—is it illegal to send unsolicited pictures in Florida?
Sending unsolicited photos is not in itself a crime. However, the act may be considered criminal depending on who the photos were sent to and why they were sent.
Read on to find out a detailed answer to the question of ‘is it illegal to send unsolicited pictures?’
When is it illegal to send unsolicited nude photographs in Florida?
While Florida law does not always consider sending unsolicited pictures illegal, there are several situations where it is considered a crime. It is important to be aware of the rules around nude photographs before you consider sending any.
Here are two situations where sending unsolicited nude photographs is considered illegal in Florida.
- When Minors are Involved
Sending nude photos to a minor (a person under the age of 18) or having a nude photo of a minor on your phone, computer, or other electronic device, is a crime in the state of Florida. However, the severity of the charge depends on a range of factors, including:
- The nature of the photos
- Whether they are of a minor or sent to a minor
- The age of the minor
There are two main charges that you may potentially face if minors are involved in your unsolicited pictures. If you are under investigation for these crimes, you must hire a reputable lawyer to help you deal with these charges.
- Transmission of Harmful Materials to a Child: This occurs when you send a nude or pornographic image or video to a minor. The image does not have to be of yourself or another minor for this charge. This is a third-degree felony under Florida law.
- Possession of Child Pornography: Sending, taking, or receiving a naked image of a minor is a crime. This includes if you are under 18 and take one of yourself or a partner of the same age. However, the chance of you being prosecuted for having an image of yourself is typically lower than if the image is of someone else.
In Florida, it is possible to be charged with both of these crimes. Contact Mike G Law if you need legal help surrounding the sending of unsolicited images.
The potential punishment depends on a range of factors. For example, if you are 17 and consensually send and receive naked images of your 17-year-old partner, this is still a crime. However, you are unlikely to be punished harshly.
In contrast, if you are an adult pressuring young people into sending nude photos or sending them yourself, you are likely to be punished much more severely.
In the state of Florida, transmitting harmful materials to a minor is a third-degree felony (Fla. Stat. §847.0133) punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Possession, distribution, or manufacturing of child pornography are also third-degree felonies that can lead to up to five years in prison per image, a $5,000 fine, and a further 5 years on probation.
There are some situations where a reasonable legal defense can lead to reduced charges. For example, if you were engaged in a sexually explicit video chat with an adult, but their minor family member walked past and saw it, you may have a defense.
If you are a minor yourself or have just become an adult, this may be used as a legal defense if the alleged victim is a similar age to you.
It’s important to note that if you believed a person to be over the age of 18, but they were not, you can still be charged. A lawyer is unlikely to use this defense in your case. However, a judge may be more lenient if you believed that the person involved was not a minor, particularly if they had deliberately misled you.
- The Images are Considered Sexual Cyberharassment/Revenge Porn
Harassment and revenge porn are not the same crime but are often linked. Revenge porn involves non-consensually sharing private images of someone—usually an ex-partner. This could be sending it to friends, uploading it on a pornographic site, or posting it on social media.
It is illegal to send revenge porn in 46 States, Washington DC, and any US territory. The only four states where this is not a crime are:
- South Carolina
So, it is possible to be charged with revenge porn and not just sexual cyberharassment in Florida. Call Mike G Law today to discuss your case and whether it constitutes cyberharassment or revenge porn.
The charge depends on the state you are in. Even if you live in one of the states where it is not illegal to send revenge porn, you may still be charged with harassment if you share private photos of a current or former partner in these states.
In Florida, you will likely be charged with cyberharassment. However, certain factors may make the charge more serious. For example, if your ex-partner was a minor when the photos were taken, you could also be charged with the distribution of child pornography.
In 2015, it became a first-degree misdemeanor to publish explicit photos of someone without their consent. If this is the first charge, you can be punished with up to a year in prison and/or $1,000 in fines. Subsequent charges can carry up to 5 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
The main legal defense against these charges is that the alleged victim actually gave you permission to publish the images. Therefore, if a defense lawyer finds that the other party consented, the charge will likely be dropped.
Contact Mike G Law for Expert Legal Defense
Although sending nude photos is not always illegal, there are many situations where it is in Florida. If your unsolicited pictures are of, or sent to, a minor, this is a crime. Even if the photos are of an adult, you could be charged with revenge porn or harassment.You may be wondering—is it illegal to send unsolicited pictures in your case? If you think you may have committed a crime, you must contact a reputable lawyer immediately. Mike G Law can provide you with legal advice and representation if you are facing charges for sending unsolicited pictures. Give Mike G Law a call today for more information about your case.