Exchanging sexy photos with people in whom you have an interest in dating and making explicit videos with sexual partners has become mainstream thanks to the ubiquity of Smartphones with excellent cameras.

People can easily take such images and film such videos on an impulse, a decision that could have lasting implications for the individual in the photo, as well as for people who possess explicit photos or videos of someone else.

Just because you own the image or the device that took it doesn’t mean that you have the right to share the image with others or upload it to the internet.

North Carolina protects people from non-consensual sharing of intimate images

When one person uploads images or video of another to the internet as a way to damage a new relationship or hurt someone’s reputation, what they have done constitutes revenge porn. North Carolina criminalizes the disclosure of private images as a class H felony for adults.

If your ex or someone they know stumbles across the video or photo that you uploaded or hears from someone else that you showed them their images, they could potentially ask the state to investigate and prosecute you. The courts can penalize violators with jail time and fines if they convict the individual accused of sharing images without consent. In some cases, the courts can also order the destruction of the images of the way to prevent future infractions.

If you don’t have explicit permission from the other person involved, it is almost always in your best interest to keep these images and videos private. Those who make a mistake or find themselves facing charges after their ex changes their mind about sharing images will need to consider their options for defending against this significant criminal charge.