The Law Office Of Caroline Norman Frost | Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney
Nation's Premier NACDA Top Ten Ranking 2023

Maryland’s Most Zealous Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney

Revenge Porn and Sexting

Maryland is one of twenty states to criminalize revenge porn.

In Maryland, it is a crime to post certain images on the Internet if you do not have consent from the person(s) seen in the image/video and there is an intent to cause emotional distress. This type of material is commonly considered “revenge porn.” Law enforcement in Maryland will charge you criminally if you are reported or caught posting or sending revenge porn.

Revenge Porn Penalty

If you are convicted of revenge porn charges, you could be imprisoned for up to two years and/or fined up to $500.

Associated crimes and revenge porn penalties

Related crimes such as blackmail or computer theft can dramatically increase associated penalties for revenge porn. Revenge porn is also often associated with “sexting” according to various Maryland law enforcement agencies. Sexting is essentially taking sexually suggestive images and sending them to significant others. When a breakup occurs, the individuals who received the images share them with other people or post them online, which results in revenge porn criminal charges.

Many of the revenge porn charges in Maryland involve parties and witnesses that are teenagers, which is why criminal charges for possessing child pornography have also been added to revenge porn charges in certain cases. Regardless of whether the sending of these images/videos was consensual, posting or sending nude images of a teen could consequently result in additional charges for possessing and/or distributing child pornography. However, in Maryland, the minor must be engaged in a sexual act in order for the image/video to constitute child pornography.

Maryland’s anti-bullying laws and revenge porn

Often times, the statement of probable cause in a revenge porn case involves bullying allegations. For example, teens break up and one of the parties sends sexual images to other people or posts them online to cause embarrassment to the victim in the images. Defendants accused of posting images online without consent can also be charged under Maryland’s anti-bullying misdemeanor laws, including harassment and misuse of electronic communication.

What is the Punishment for Sexting in Maryland?

If the offender is under 18, the court may proceed in three ways (1) The court may place the accused under home supervision, order community detention, or place the teen on probation. (2) The court may place the accused minor under the guardianship or custody of the Department of Juvenile Services, a licensed private or public agency, or the Maryland Department of Health. (3) Order the minor, parents, or caregivers to participate in rehabilitative services.

If convicted of child pornography in the juvenile system, the court may place the offender on electronic monitoring or under supervised probation. The accused minor may also have to inform law enforcement when he/she leaves the state or moves to a different address.

Can a minor be transferred to adult court for sexting?

If the accused minor is older than 15, the State may seek adult charges under certain circumstances, for example, when a minor commits a serious felony. If transferred to adult court, and convicted, than the minor must register as a sex offender.

Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible

A lot of criminal defense attorneys do not handle revenge porn or child pornography cases. Despite revenge porn laws being fairly new in Maryland, prosecuting these crimes has become a focal point for State’s Attorney’s Offices across the state. In addition, the fast-paced changes in technology and social media are directly related to the probability of a successful investigation and conviction in these types of cases. If you, or someone you know has been charged with a crime relating to the posting of online images than contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Police and prosecutors in Maryland have a variety of tools they can use to seek a conviction, but the law remains uncertain in some areas. Contact the Law Offices of Caroline Norman Frost for a free consultation.