Distribution of Intimate Images
The lawyers at Stern Shapray have extensive experience representing clients charged with Distribution of Intimate Images and reaching favourable outcomes for them. It is vital that one charged with this offence seeks out the legal advice of an experienced criminal lawyer in order to put forth the best possible defence(s) before the Court or pursue alternate ways to resolve the matter without going to trial.
When assessing whether to hire a lawyer when charged, it is important to first be aware of the legal consequences in the event one is found guilty of Distribution of Intimate Images.
There is no statutory minimum sentence the accused will be subjected to if found guilty. If the charge is prosecuted summarily, the maximum jail sentence an accused can receive is 2 years less a day, with or without a fine of $5000. If the charge is prosecuted by indictment, the maximum jail sentence an accused can receive is 5 years. Less extreme forms of sentence are available under both summary and indictable proceedings, such as absolute discharge, suspended sentence, fine with or without probation, intermittent sentence, and conditional sentence.
That being said, the particular sentence imposed on an accused will largely depend on the circumstances of their case.
Elements of Distribution of Intimate Images
For an accused to be found guilty of Distribution of Intimate Images, the Court must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that each of the following requirements has been met:
- The accused published, distributed, transmitted, sold, made available or advertised an image of the complainant;
- The image was an "intimate image" as described in s. 162.1(2) of the Criminal Code.
- The accused knowingly did so;
- The complainant did not consent to the accused’s conduct; and
- The accused knew or was reckless toward the fact that the complainant did not consent to their conduct.
There are various ways in which charges of Distribution of Intimate Images can be defended, ideally by raising a reasonable doubt toward one or more of the required elements of the offence, such as:
- Identity of the accused,
- Whether or not the accused “knowingly” engaged in the alleged conduct,
- Whether or not the image was “intimate”; and
- The complainant had consented to the alleged conduct.
For reference, the offence of Distribution of Intimate Images is outlined in the Criminal Code as follows:
Publication, etc., of an intimate image without consent
162.1 (1) Everyone who knowingly publishes, distributes, transmits, sells, makes available or advertises an intimate image of a person knowing that the person depicted in the image did not give their consent to that conduct, or being reckless as to whether or not that person gave their consent to that conduct, is guilty
(a) of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or
(b) of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Definition of intimate image
(2) In this section, intimate image means a visual recording of a person made by any means including a photographic, film or video recording,
(a) in which the person is nude, is exposing his or her genital organs or anal region or her breasts or is engaged in explicit sexual activity;
(b) in respect of which, at the time of the recording, there were circumstances that gave rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy; and
(c) in respect of which the person depicted retains a reasonable expectation of privacy at the time the offence is committed.
(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section if the conduct that forms the subject-matter of the charge serves the public good and does not extend beyond what serves the public good.
Question of fact and law, motives
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3),
(a) it is a question of law whether the conduct serves the public good and whether there is evidence that the conduct alleged goes beyond what serves the public good, but it is a question of fact whether the conduct does or does not extend beyond what serves the public good; and
(b) the motives of an accused are irrelevant.
Are you facing distribution of intimate images charges? Are you under investigation? Speak to a Vancouver and Surrey criminal lawyer as soon as possible. We know the system. We get results. Call us immediately. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get started. We will defend you against these drug possession charges.
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