West palm beach, fl - Se habla espanol

Posting Explicit Images Can Be a Type of Sexual Harassment in Florida

Making lewd comments about someone’s attire. Tying sex to job duties or advancement. Touching someone inappropriately. Repeated requests to go on a date.These are the types of things most people think about when they imagine sexual harassment – and with everything in the news these days, it’s difficult not to imagine sexual harassment.There’s one type of sexual harassment covered under the laws of Florida that no one seems to be talking about right now though: sexual cyber harassment.What exactly is it? How does it work? What are businesses doing about it?

Defining Sexual Cyberharassment in Florida

Essentially, Florida defines sexual cyber harassment as publishing a sexually explicit image of another person on the internet:

  • That conveys their “personal identification information”
  • Without any legitimate purpose
  • Without the consent of that person
  • Intending to cause “substantial emotional distress”

In short, the law officially penalizes what is colloquially known as “revenge porn.”Some important things to know about the law:

  • “Image” covers numerous things, including but not limited to “any photograph, picture, motion picture, film, video, or representation.”
  • It is illegal to publish another’s nude or sexual image even if they consented to the image itself. In other words, permission to publish on the internet must be given, or it can be deemed a crime.
  • In order to qualify, the image may contain either nudity or sexual conduct.
  • Though “revenge porn” is often associated with angry exes who already had access to the image and simply decided to publish it, the crime also may apply to someone who breaks into another’s computer or other digital device and steals private images

How Does Florida Penalize Sexual Cyberharassment?

First offense

If you are charged with a first-time offense of sexual cyber harassment, it is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Subsequent offenses

Any offenses after the initial one are charged as third-degree felonies. Third-degree felonies come with the potential of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.Additionally, offenders open themselves up to a civil lawsuit and will have to carry a criminal record with them for the rest of their lives. This record is something that anyone can access with a simple internet search or background check. This can make it far more difficult to handle many normal tasks, such as finding housing, getting a job, securing a loan, and more.

Limits to Florida’s Sexual Cyberharassment Law Point to Possible Defenses

As soon as the bill was signed into law, critics started pointing out all of the things that the statute doesn’t cover and other potential limitations to prosecution. If you find yourself charged, some of these limitations may very well become arguments a skilled Florida lawyer can use to defend you.What are they?It only covers posting to websites. Did you actually post the image in question to a website? It is not a crime to send these types of images in texts, emails, or even through peer-to-peer networks. In order for the law to apply, it must be posted to an actual website.Personal identifying information must be included. This law is intended to go after people who are maliciously posting nude or sexual images of someone as a way to attack them. To that end, the statute says that personal identifying information must be present. Often, a mere image may not be enough to qualify as sexual cyberharassment unless personally identifying information can be gleaned from it.

Sexual Harassment Defense Lawyer

There must be an intention to cause emotional distress. Even if the prosecution can prove that a nude or sexually explicit image was posted to a website without consent and that personal identifying information was present, they also need to show that it was done to cause harm to the individual in the image.Other strategies may help as well depending on the facts of your case.If you are charged with a sex offense, the best way to know which defense strategies are most likely to help is to get in touch with an experienced Florida criminal attorney as soon as possible.About the Author:Attorney David W. Olson is the founder of the Law Offices of David W. Olson in West Palm Beach. He has been practicing criminal law and successfully representing clients throughout the State of Florida for over 30 years. Throughout his legal career, Mr. Olson has been honored numerous times for both his dedication and excellence in criminal law. He proudly holds the Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating, as well as being recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013), in the Nation’s Top One Percent of attorneys (2015), and as a 10 Best Member of the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys (2015). He has even received commendations from members of congress and other public officials for the fantastic work that he's done. Mr. Olson graduated from the University of Florida’s Fredric G. Levin College of Law in 1981 and has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1983.

Free case review

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


Better call Saul? More like, BETTER CALL OLSON!

“David W. Olson is the best lawyer I have come across. He truly will sit and listen to your story and no matter what he will fight for your rights. He is very compassionate, and understanding. He will work with you and does his job with a good heart. Mr. Olson truly has saved my life and gave me a second chance. You wont go wrong with hiring David Olson as your attorney. I highly recommend him and I am proud to have chosen him as my attorney.”


Found the Best!

“David Olson has represented me on two occasions. I have since referred two of my friends and my nephew to him, and they have all told me they’ll always be grateful for that. Mr. Olson somehow had the charges dropped in both of my cases (actually, I do know how, because he and his staff answered all my questions and explained in detail things that I never would have thought of).”


Compassionate Attorney

"My husband and I hired Mr. Olson to represent our son a Florida gun shot victim. We are New Jersey residents. From day one we felt comfortable with Mr. Olson and found him to be easy to talk to and a very good listener. This was important to us after our horrible experience with another attorney who was more concerned with hearing himself speak than our wishes."


Personable and Highly Intelligent!

“I saw David today to discuss some possible outcomes and possibilities of a probable future case. I did not know if I was going to be charged at all but I wanted to speak to someone to get a better idea of what I was looking at and what my options were. As soon as I shook his hand I felt very comfortable and respected. I laid it all out for him and asked him every last question I had, all of which were answered respectfully and intelligently.”


The Best of the Best

"I have known David Olson for over 20 yrs. now and have had my rough times in my past and unfortunately I ended up in trouble with the law and really needed help from a real lawyer. I needed someone to listen to my side of the story and really fight my cases in court for me and get the BEST results for my cases. A very close friend said the man for the job is David W Olson; So I contacted him & he came to me the very next day to hear me out and I knew he was the lawyer that would do the best for me and he did.”

Chet B.

Hearty Recommendation

"I hired Mr. Olson from recommendation by family member. He was immediately behind my situation and put me completely at ease. There were no false promises, very upfront as far as expectations and outcomes.

His assistant, Jessica was a joy to work with as well. They came to my house, interviewed witnesses, went above and beyond and always respond to my calls. I totally endorse this attorney."