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Minnesota revenge porn laws have gotten lots of news coverage. We battled a revenge porn case that spanned years. The Minnesota Supreme Court recently declared that the state’s laws are not unconstitutional.

So what are Minnesota revenge porn laws? And what can you do if you’ve been charged with the crime?

What Is Revenge Porn?

If you casually share an explicit image, even with no negative intent, you could receive revenge porn charges. Minnesota law defines the crime of revenge porn as intentionally disseminating an image of another person who is depicted in a sexual act or whose intimate parts are exposed, in whole or in part, when:

  • The person is identifiable;
  • The actor knows or reasonably should know that the person depicted in the image does not consent to the dissemination; and
  • You obtained the image under circumstances when you knew or reasonably should have known the person depicted had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

To define revenge porn, sex revenge porn laws clarify that the person in the photo can be identifiable from the image itself or by someone who looks at the image and identifies the person.

This means that even if you can’t see the person’s face, any other identifying information—including text that might be included in the photo—makes the photo “identifiable” under Minnesota law.

What Are the Penalties for Revenge Porn?

Revenge porn laws in MN classify revenge porn as a gross misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the explicit sharing.

Gross Misdemeanor Revenge Porn

Revenge porn is often classified as a gross misdemeanor, with the following penalties:

  • Up to a $3,000 fine; and 
  • Up to a year in jail.

Even this baseline revenge porn charge for the unlawful dissemination of an image can cost you significantly and damage your reputation.

Felony Revenge Porn

Sometimes, sharing explicit images becomes a felony. These factors upgrade revenge porn to a felony:

  • The person experiences financial loss because of the photos;
  • Images of the photo are posted online;
  • Images of the photo are disseminated with the intent to harass the person;
  • There’s an intent to profit from the dissemination of the photos;
  • The photos are disseminated while committing another crime, such as theft; or
  • The current offense is for a second or subsequent revenge porn offense.

A theft charge could result when you send photos from the person’s phone or computer without authorization. This simple act could land you with a felony conviction.

The statute defines harassment as any behavior that has a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security, or privacy of a reasonable person. This broad definition means that almost anyone could claim a violation of privacy when they see their intimate photos online.

Felony revenge porn brings the following penalties:

  • Up to a $5,000 fine; and
  • Up to three years in prison.

It doesn’t matter if the person consented to the photos; you can be charged if you share them with anyone, even without posting them online.

Do You Need an Attorney?

If you’ve been charged with Minnesota revenge porn, you need an attorney. One click of a keyboard can bring severe consequences, landing you in prison for years.

Our criminal defense attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka have fought Minnesota revenge porn laws in courts, advocated for changes with the legislature, and received media recognition as some of the state’s leading authorities on revenge porn defense. We give every client personalized, skilled defense and will do our best to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Contact us today for a free consultation on your revenge porn charges.

Author Photo

John T. Arechigo, Esq.

Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.

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