Canadian Law About Publishing An Intimate Image Without Consent

April 25, 2022

Canadian Law About Publishing An Intimate Image Without Consent

The rise of modern technology has brought about many welcome changes, however, it has also birthed new and unforeseen changes in the way people communicate and express themselves.

The advent of the ‘Global village’ has given everyone the ability to connect with and share information with countless individuals instantly. Although this has opened many pathways for the betterment of communication and science, it has also provided people with the means of hurting each other in unprecedented ways.

Keeping this in mind, in 2015, the Government of Canada labelled the act of publishing an intimate image of someone else without their permission as a crime.

Section 162.1 of the Criminal Code captures all the ways in which intimate images may be shared, including through physical delivery, social networking, email, or other means by publishing, distributing, transmitting, selling, making available or advertising an intimate image of another person knowing that the person depicted in the image did not give their consent to that conduct.

In this blog, we have listed everything you need to know about Publishing An Intimate Image Without Consent. However, before moving on, as the best criminal lawyers in Edmonton, we want to put it out there that if you are dealing with any similar assault offences, our team of experts can help you deal with all the legalities.

What Are Intimate Images?

As opposed to what many people believe, an intimate image is not an image that is embarrassing or unflattering. Rather, an intimate image refers to the images that depict nudity, partial nudity or an individual engaged in intimate activities.

Know that the laws outlined in Section 162.1 of the Criminal Code are not intended to protect people from embarrassing images – but the unlawful publication of private images where permission has not been given to share or distribute them.

In addition to this, even though the term states ‘images’ it does not only entail still pictures, but also encompasses films and videos.

Hence, if anything intentionally publishes intimate images or videos where there was a reasonable expectation of privacy, the individual will be held liable and be charged with a crime.

Also Read: Can You Attend University In Canada With A Criminal Record?

What Is A Reasonable Expectation Of Privacy?

By Law, reasonable expectation of privacy determines a situation in which a person has a legal right to privacy. In some cases, this is also known as the “right to be left alone.”

However, keep in mind that the expectation of privacy is not absolute, rather, it is reasonable. This means that the disclosure or discovery of a private matter must have happened when the plaintiff was in a place or situation in which the average person would be offended at being intruded upon.

Now, the question is, what if the image was sent to the perpetrator by the individual? Can this be called consent? The simple answer is no. Sending an intimate image to someone does not mean they are consenting for them to share it further.

Penalties For Publishing An Intimate Image Without Consent

The penalties are usually decided by the Crown prosecutor and the way he/she decides to proceed. Publishing an intimate image without consent is considered a hybrid offence. That means the Crown prosecutor can choose to pursue the case by indictment or summarily.

Hence, depending on the situation, the perpetrator can be charged with a misdemeanour or with a maximum sentence of five years.

Can These Charges Be Dropped?

Yes, these charges can be dropped. However, for this, you will have to hire a criminal defence lawyer. The lawyer will then adopt one of the following approaches:

  • Challenge the assumption that the accused was the person who actually distributed the material
  • Challenge the intent of the accused in publishing the material
  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms defences
  • Argue that the complainant actually consented to the release of the material
  • Public nudity defence: there may be no reasonable expectation of privacy

Let Us Help You

Slaferek lawyers are highly proficient at strategizing effective defence strategies that can lead to case dismissal, reduced charges, reduced penalties, and more. To get in touch with us today, click here. Our expertise lies in criminal cases and DUI cases.

If you are scrambling with charges or are looking for a good criminal defence lawyer to help you fight your case, our team of trained lawyers can help you build a strong case. We have successfully closed hundreds of cases pertaining to murder, DUI, financial fraud and more.

Preserve Your Rights By
Contacting Darin H. Slaferek

We specialize in criminal law, delivering ethical, effective, and efficient legal solutions that prioritize the best interests of our clients.