Is Posting a Private Image Illegal in CO?

Posting a private image to harass another person is often referred to as revenge porn in Colorado – and it’s against the law.

This is a crime that the state takes very seriously, as it often causes great emotional distress to the person portrayed in the picture and is considered a sex crime. That means that anyone convicted of posting a private image for harassment can be in serious legal jeopardy. The charge is more than just a slap on the wrist and should be taken very seriously.

Here is what you need to know about posting a private image in Colorado, including how it is defined under the law and the consequences a person can face if found guilty.

What Is Posting a Private Image for Harassment in Colorado?

The state of Colorado considers the crime of posting a private image for harassment to have been perpetrated if:

  • The poster is over the age of 18
  • The poster distributes or posts photos or videos of an intimate nature of another person
  • The distribution or posting takes place via email, messaging, or on social media
  • The person in the photos or videos did not give their consent
  • The victim is over the age of 18

It’s central to this statute that the images in question must show an intimate, private part of someone who can be identified. If there is nudity without context, then sexual acts must be depicted for someone to be charged with this crime. One central element of this crime is that the images’ posting caused serious emotional distress to the victim.

If the images or video are of a child under 18, then child pornography laws in Colorado can apply. This can lead to even more serious charges and the requirement to register as a sex offender if you are found guilty.

What Are the Penalties in Colorado?

If you are found guilty of posting a private image for harassment, then it’s considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. As a result, you can face as many as 18 months in jail and be fined as much as $10,000.

The fine attached to this specific crime is much higher than other Class 1 misdemeanors in the state, presumably to deter people from committing the crime. On top of that, individuals portrayed in the images or video at the center of the case can pursue a civil case against the perpetrator, which can have even more significant financial consequences.

Steps Coloradans Should Take If Accused

If you are accused of posting private images for harassment, there are certain things you should and should not do in the immediate future.

Denver Posting a Private Image Charges

You should never contact the person accusing you. That may only add legitimacy to their case against you. You should also not answer police questions unless you have an attorney present. You can give the police identifying information, but after that, you should utilize your right to remain silent until you have a chance to consult an attorney.

Lastly, get an attorney with experience in cases like this. The ramifications if found guilty can last your whole life, so you need a lawyer who knows what they are doing and how to beat these charges.


About the Author:

Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Countless legal organizations have recognized Mr. Martinez for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020 and is Lead Counsel rated.