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What you post on the Internet could have long-term consequences

Changes and additions to the criminal laws in Florida that are designed for the protection of victims of domestic violence and for the prevention of harassment over the Internet may have long-term consequences if you are charged with violating them. The laws restrict your right to post photographs of other people without their permission and clarify what “no contact” means when judges include it in pretrial release orders in domestic violence cases.

The world has changed thanks to social media and the Internet but maybe not for the better. There was a time when couples that broke up might have said nasty things about other to friends, but thanks to social media, words have been replaced by revenge porn or sexually explicit photos of the ex.

Posting such photos without the consent of the person depicted will now be a misdemeanor in Florida. People don’t always do the smartest things when relationships, but trying to get revenge on your ex could now result in a criminal conviction with a jail sentence and a criminal record.

Another change in the criminal laws could create problems for you if you are charged with domestic assault. If a judge releases pending trial, a new statute gives the judge the power to impose a condition prohibiting contact between you and the alleged victim. The law defines “no contact” to literally mean exactly as it reads.

Contact with the victim by telephone, electronic methods, through a third person or by any means other than through an attorney can result in a criminal charge of violating the pretrial release order. Emails or texting would violate the no contact provisions of the order.

As the legislature enacts new laws for which criminal penalties may be imposed, protecting your rights becomes more important than ever before. If you have been charged for Internet crimes for violating the not contact provisions of a pretrial release order in a domestic violence case, a Tampa criminal defense attorney can be of help.

Source: WPTV, “New Florida laws tackle ‘cyberharassment,’ sex trafficking,” Jim Turner, Oct. 2, 2015

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