August 10, 2023
There is no doubt that the allegation of Distributing Intimate Images can be very damaging to a person’s reputation. If you are facing a charge of distributing intimate images in Toronto, it is essential to understand the law, your rights, and how to defend yourself. Only an experienced criminal defence lawyer can help you navigate these complexities with ease and confidence.
In this post, we will discuss the law of distributing intimate images, including the available defences, possible sentences, and the evidence the Crown may use in such cases. If you’ve been charged with this offence, we encourage you to read on and learn how we can help you fight for your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
It is essential to remember that if you are facing a distribute intimate images charge that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. This means that the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove the charge beyond any reasonable doubt. With a skilled criminal defence lawyer on your side, advocating for your rights, it may be possible to have the charges against you dropped altogether.
The Criminal Code of Canada prohibits the distribution of intimate images without the consent of the person depicted in the image. Specifically, s. 162.1 of the Criminal Code makes it a criminal offence to distribute an intimate image of an individual without their consent.
This law applies to anyone who knowingly distributes an intimate image, regardless of their relationship to the individual depicted in the image.
The law defines an intimate image as any visual recording of a person made in circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy. This includes images of a person’s naked body or sexual activity. It is important to note that the law applies equally to images that were taken consensually, as well as those that were taken without the individual’s knowledge or
The exact definition found under Section 162.1 (2) of the Criminal Code, states an intimate image is:
A visual recording of a person made by any means, including a photographic, film or video recording,
The sentence imposed by a court for distributing intimate images without consent can be severe and will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, including the presence of any aggravating and mitigating circumstances.
For example, the age of the person depicted, the number and nature of the images, and the extent of the distribution will all be considered by the court in determining a fit sentence.
Additionally, the penalties for distributing intimate images can be more severe if the offender is found guilty of other related offences. For example, if the offender is found to have engaged in other harassing behaviour. The possible sentences include the following:
Although rarely imposed, the maximum sentence for distributing intimate images without consent is five (5) years in prison.
The actual sentence imposed by the judge may be less, depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the presence of any mitigating circumstances, including evidence that the actions of the accused were out of character, the absence of previous criminal history, a strong educational/work history; and the support of friends and family.
A probation order requires the accused to comply with certain rules for a specified period (to a maximum of three years), such as reporting to a probation officer, staying away from certain people, not committing any other criminal offences, not consuming alcohol or drugs, and completing community service or counselling programs.
If the probation is completed, there are no further consequences. On the other hand, if a term of probation is violated, the accused could be charged with further the offence of failure to comply with probation.
A discharge involves the court finding a defendant guilty of an offence but avoids the imposition of a criminal record. Although an Absolute Discharge is possible, the more likely result concerning the offence of distributing intimate images is a Conditional Discharge, which involves the imposition of a term of probation of up to three years.
A further benefit is that any record of the discharge is automatically removed from the police database three years after the end of the probation term.
A Court can also impose the following orders:
Since each case is unique, the potential defences will vary from case to case. Your distributing intimate images lawyer should be able to analyze the circumstances of your case to identify the relevant issues and defences.
Some of the common defences include:
One of the most common defences in cases involving the distribution of intimate images is that the person depicted in the images consented to their distribution. For example, if the person willingly shared the images knowing they would be distributed, then that should be a complete defence to the charge.
Another possible defence is that the defendant had no intention of distributing the images. For example, if the images were accidentally shared, they may be able to argue that they didn’t have the necessary intent to be guilty of the offence.
Depending on the evidence, it may be argued that the Crown has failed to prove the persons responsible for distributing the image. For example, if the images were shared online anonymously or through an unidentified social media account, it could be argued that the identity of the responsible party was not established, which would necessarily lead to the finding of not guilty.
It is essential to remember that if you are facing a distribute intimate images charge that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. This means that the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove the charge beyond any reasonable doubt. With a skilled lawyer on your side, advocating for your rights, it may be possible to have the charges against you dropped altogether.
Read Also: Defending Your Rights In Toronto
The admissibility of evidence in a criminal case is subject to strict rules and procedures. A criminal defence lawyer can help challenge the admissibility of evidence that was obtained improperly or is otherwise inadmissible.
For example, if the police violated your rights, an application can be brought to exclude the evidence under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Additionally, your distribute intimate images lawyer can help develop a defence strategy that challenges the Crown’s evidence and argues for a favourable outcome in the case.
At Fedorowicz Law, we understand the devastating impact a charge of distributing intimate images can have on your life. We understand the complexities and nuances of distributing intimate images cases. We have successfully represented clients facing similar charges, and are prepared to fight aggressively on your behalf.
We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your case, challenge the Crown’s evidence, and build a strong defence strategy tailored to your specific situation.
We leave no stone unturned in the defence of your case to ensure that your name and reputation are protected.
Contact us now.