Ridgefield Sextortion Lawyer
Extorting someone else for money or anything else valuable by threatening to release intimate images they thought would remain private is considered a serious felony offense, and the act of publicly releasing such images without the depicted person’s consent can result in criminal prosecution even without any financial motive behind it. If you have been accused of either type of behavior and are facing sex crime charges as a result, you should make speaking with a Ridgefield sextortion lawyer about your legal options one of your top priorities.
How State Law Defines “Sextortion” Offenses
The Connecticut Penal Code—and accordingly, Connecticut law enforcement and court authorities—treats allegations of “sextortion” differently depending on how the intimate images in question were released and whether their threatened or actual release was done with the intent to commit Larceny or for some other financial incentive. While a Ridgefield sextortion attorney can provide crucial help with building a strong defense in each distinct scenario, it is worth knowing some details in advance about the differences between the two statutes that this sort of offense typically falls under.
First, someone commits “Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image” if they knowingly and publicly distribute an image of a clearly identifiable person engaged in private sexual conduct or display without the depicted person’s consent in a way that directly causes some form of harm to the depicted person. According to Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-189c, this offense is a Class A misdemeanor if the image is unlawfully disseminated to just one other person by any means, but it becomes a Class D felony if the image is sent to multiple people through any phone, computer, electronic information network, and/or any other telecommunications service.
Second, if someone compels someone else to pay them or give them something else of value by threatening to disseminate intimate images of the targeted person, they have likely committed Extortion as defined under C.G.S. § 53a-119(5). Under C.G.S. §53a-122, Larceny by Extortion is always considered Larceny in the First Degree regardless of the financial value involved in the offense, which means a convicted person would always face penalties commensurate with a Class B felony.
Fighting Back Against “Sextortion” Charges
Since “sextortion” is very often treated as a felony, it is crucial that you take immediate steps to construct a comprehensive defense strategy tailored to the specific circumstances in play after being accused of this sort of offense. In practice, this often means establishing–with as much evidence as possible and ideally with help from a skilled sextortion lawyer in Ridgefield—that one or more specific elements of the crime were not present in the defendant’s actions.
For instance, someone who disseminates images taken of someone engaging in sexual conduct in a public place has likely not violated C.G.S. § 53a-189c since the depicted person likely would not have a reasonable expectation that those photos would remain private. Likewise, someone who releases or threatens to release intimate images without any financial incentive may be charged with Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image, but they could not be convicted of the comparatively more serious offense of Larceny by Extortion.
Get in Touch With a Ridgefield Sextortion Attorney Today
Even for first-time offenders, criminal accusations revolving around the alleged “sextortion” of another person can alter the course of your entire life and—if they end with a conviction or guilty plea—potentially brand you permanently as a felon. Fortunately, you have assistance available from seasoned legal representatives who know exactly how to handle cases like yours in effective and proactive ways. Call the Law Offices of Mark Sherman today to discuss your next steps with a Ridgefield sextortion lawyer, and click here to read what our previous clients have said about working with us.