Unlawful Dissemination of Intimate Image (PA’s Revenge Porn law)

Unlawful Dissemination of Intimate Image (PA’s Revenge Porn law) sounds really nasty on your record. If you don’t want to deal with a lifetime of this charge following you, you need to get serious. It is a criminal charge in PA. It can carry with it a lifetime of problems…. if you choose the wrong attorney. When it comes to finding the best Pennsylvania Sex Crimes attorney, we are it. 


The Law

You can find the actual law here: Unlawful Dissemination of Intimate Image (PA’s Revenge Porn law)

The government must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. the accused
  2. had the intent to harass, annoy or alarm a current or former sexual or intimate partner by
  3. disseminating (sending) a visual depiction of the current or former sexual or intimate partner in a state of nudity or engaged in sexual conduct.

When selecting which attorney to hire, please consider:

  • Can you call anytime and talk to a live person?
  • Do they offer payment plans with no credit checks?
  • Will your attorney be attentive and explain what’s going on?

At The McShane Firm, we answer yes to all of these questions. We strive to provide you with a great customer service experience during this tough time.

Maximum Fines, and Jail for Unlawful Dissemination of Intimate Image (PA’s Revenge Porn law) 

So this is where it can get a little complicated and choosing the right attorney can make all the difference. As far as the written law goes, if you are convicted or plead guilty to this crime, the maximum penalty changes based upon the age of the alleged victim.

(c)  Grading.–An offense under subsection (a) shall be:

(1)  A misdemeanor of the first degree, when the person depicted is a minor.

(2)  A misdemeanor of the second degree, when the person depicted is not a minor.

A M1’s in PA has a maximum of five years incarceration. All misdemeanors of the second degree carry a maximum potential penalty of two years in jail.

But there is significant litigation going on in this area concerning the increase of penalty based upon age when the age of the alleged victim is not an element of the offense. Therefore, you need an attorney who knows this. It can save you a lot of time. Literally.

Does Unlawful Dissemination of Intimate Image (PA’s Revenge Porn law) conviction trigger Megan’s Law (SORNA) or Sexually Violent Predator penalties?

No. Not currently. But one thing is for certain, the list of Megan’s Law (SORNA) and SVP eligible offenses keeps growing and not shrinking. Some times, the legislature looks to retroactively (reach back in time) to put offenses on Megan’s Law even if at the time you entered a plea it was not. We call this ex post facto laws. In America, ex post facto laws are generally unconstitutional. But every once in a while, in an amazing feat of mental gymnastics, the Courts have turned a blind eye on this unconstitutional law.

What is The McShane Difference?

  • We take time to understand your personal needs and goals. Then we cater our legal strategy to fit you.
  • We care about you. We listen and return phone calls. We will take time to explain things so you are not left anxious in the dark.
  • We will make this as easy as possible. We will try to minimize the number of times you have to be in court which means less disruption of your work and family life.

Does this sound like what you are looking for in an attorney? If yes, then take the next step and call (717) 657-3900.

Following you for life

So you can take a deep breath that at least as of today, this charge doesn’t put you on the path of Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law, but you do have to worry about much more than just costs, fines, jail and sex offender consequences. You need to consider:

Misdemeanor Conviction Consequences in Pennsylvania


Defenses that work


It depends on whether what is in the image or video. Are you in the photo or video at all? In such a case, it may be very difficult for the government to prove that any sexual event happened or that you folks were ever in the same room together. This is why Lawyer Up, if the police come asking about what happened it so important. Also, there are digital evidence concerns that can help prove you are falsely charged such as geo-tagging, modification and EXIF meta data.


Unless the victim is under the age of consent in PA, consent is a defense.

In fact, consent is specifically a defense in the statute. It reads:

(b)  Defense.–It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that the actor disseminated the visual depiction with the consent of the person depicted.

For the government to prevail, the jury must find the witness’s story credible or consistent. It is all dependent on how the sides frame that story in court. How this determination comes out is highly dependent on the facts. But this isn’t the Maury Povich Show. It isn’t a referendum. The government must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The accused has to prove nothing.

As far as consent is concerned, this is a factual issue for the jury to decide. It all depends on what actually happened. Frequently, two people experience things very differently. One important thing to note is that while unimpaired adults can consent, (but do not always do so) children and intoxicated adults cannot. They do not have the full mental understanding of the events that are happening, so they cannot decide whether they consent. For similar reasons, those with developmental disabilities also cannot consent.

Our Clients are entitled to a Bill of Rights which states:

  • Our clients have the right to expect, we will be proactive in communication. You will hear it from us first. We will return all phone calls, texts and emails promptly.
  • Our clients have the right to expect plain speaking, straight shooting. No B. S.
  • Our clients have the right to expect us to do it right the first time, every time.
  • Our clients have the right to expect us to be on time and professionally prepared for all court appearances, and all meetings.
  • Our clients have the right to expect that they will be fully informed at all times.

This is our promise to you. Call today to get us on your side: (717) 657-3900.

Statute of Limitations for Unlawful Dissemination of Intimate Image

In short, it is two years from the offense date. When is the offense date? It is not when the image is taken. It is when it is sent to that third party. So in other words, you can be subject to prosecution if you took the image 30 years ago, but now suddenly uploaded it or shared it.