Is Selling Explicit Content Illegal in New Jersey?

Explicit content is published on the internet every day. Furthermore, intimate videos and images are regularly shared between friends through texts and social media messages. Still, this content can only be disseminated under specific circumstances.

If you are an adult, it is not illegal to sell intimate photos of yourself online. Furthermore, you can sell explicit content featuring other adults as long as all parties consent to have their intimate photos published or shared. However, you can face criminal penalties if you sell explicit content involving a nonconsenting adult. Furthermore, you can be charged with a crime if you sell explicit content where one of the subjects is a minor.

If you have been accused of illegally selling or publishing explicit content, get help from our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych by dialing (609) 616-4956.

When Selling Explicit Content is Illegal in New Jersey

Selling intimate photos of yourself online is perfectly legal as evidenced by popular sites like Only Fans. Furthermore, you may sell explicit content featuring others as long as all of the parties involved are consenting adults.

Selling explicit content becomes illegal if the subject did not agree to have their images shared or published online. Furthermore, you are not allowed to sell explicit content featuring minors. Even if you also are under 18 years old, you can face criminal penalties for such behavior. However, in cases involving teen sexting accusations, the judge may decide to halt prosecution for child pornography charges and order the defendant to seek counseling instead.

Penalties for Distributing Nonconsensual Pornography in New Jersey

In New Jersey, you cannot distribute nonconsensual images or recordings that reveal another person’s “intimate parts.” An individual’s sexual organs, inner thigh, anal area, genital area, groin, breasts, and buttocks will all be considered “intimate parts.”

The distribution of nonconsensual pornography constitutes a criminal invasion of privacy under N.J.S.A. § 2C:14-9. Even if the person being depicted agreed to being recorded or photographed, the explicit content cannot be distributed without that person’s consent. There are several ways explicit content can be illegally disclosed such as posting it online, sharing it with friends, or even sending it through the mail.

If you photograph or videotape another person’s intimate parts without their consent, you may be charged with criminal invasion of privacy according to N.J.S.A. § 2C:14-9(b)(1). In turn, you may be facing a prison sentence between three to five years and costly fines of up to $15,000. Assistance from our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys can be highly beneficial when seeking to have such penalties eliminated or reduced.

Additionally, you can face another charge of criminal invasion of privacy under N.J.S.A. § 2C:14-9(c) for merely distributing nonconsensual pornography. This offense will also carry with it a potential prison sentence between three to five years and a fine not exceeding $15,000. A charge for distributing nonconsensual pornography can be assessed in conjunction with the charge for creating it.

Finally, you may also face civil penalties for creating and distributing nonconsensual pornography. The person who was wrongfully recorded or photographed may file a lawsuit against you seeking payment for the damages they incurred.

Potential Defenses to Nonconsensual Pornography Charges in New Jersey

If you are accused of creating or publishing nonconsensual pornography in New Jersey, there are potential defenses you can make.

First, you may argue that the subject of the explicit content at issue consented to being recorded or having their images distributed. Proving that consent was present in your case can be complicated. There are several types of evidence that can be used including text messages, social media messages, and witness testimony. Support from experienced legal representation can be highly beneficial when seeking to establish this defense in your case.

Furthermore, you may defend against nonconsensual pornography charges by demonstrating that there was no reasonable expectation of privacy when the photo or video was taken. For instance, someone who engages in sexual conduct or exposes their intimate body parts in a public setting will not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. In that case, someone who recorded the public act at issue may not be guilty of creating nonconsensual pornography.

Criminal Charges for Selling Pornography in New Jersey

One of the most common child pornography charges faced by defendants in New Jersey has to do with participation in child pornography file sharing networks. These peer-to-peer networks allow direct communication between users, allowing them to access each other’s files. Accordingly, they enable ready access to child pornography.

Anyone who knowingly stores or maintains a file depicting the abuse or sexual exploitation of a minor may be criminally prosecuted. Participation in a child pornography file sharing network may cause you to be charged with a second degree crime if the number of images or videos at issue is less than 1,000. The penalties for a second degree crime can involve between 5 to 10 years of jail time and fines totaling a maximum of $150,000.

If more than 1,000 files are involved, then a first degree crime may be assessed. After being convicted of a first degree crime, you can spend between 10 to 20 years in prison and may have to pay a fine of up to $200,000.

In order to be convicted for participation in a child pornography file sharing network, the prosecution has to prove that you knowingly stored or maintained the file at issue. Additionally, the conduct must have happened on a file sharing program that was designed to allow access by multiple computers.

If You Are Accused of Selling Explicit Content in New Jersey, Our Attorneys Can Help

After facing accusations for selling explicit content, seek support and guidance from our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers by calling the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956.

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