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Deep Fake Pornography Law

Fairfax Criminal Lawyer Explains Current State of Deep Fake Pornography Law In Virginia

Deep fake pornography is a disturbing misuse of artificial intelligence technology, with serious legal and ethical implications. In Virginia, the law is clear on the matter, as laid out in Virginia Code 18.2-386.2. This article will explore this law, as well as the legal defenses available if one is charged, from the perspective of a Fairfax lawyer. Remember, this is a new and complex area of law. If you are charged under this code section call Mr. Tyler Bezilla today for a free consultation.

What is Deep Fake Pornography?

Deep fake pornography involves the use of AI to create or manipulate digital content, making it seem as though an individual is partaking in sexual activities they have not consented to or are unaware of.

The Technology Behind Deep Fakes

Deep fakes use machine learning algorithms to create and manipulate visual and audio content. The technology has become so advanced that it's becoming increasingly challenging to tell real content from manipulated content.

Understanding Virginia Code 18.2-386.2

In the context of the growing problem of deep fake pornography, Virginia has taken a strong stance.

The Specifics of the Code

Virginia Code 18.2-386.2 explicitly prohibits the creation and distribution of nonconsensual pornography, including deep fakes. The law considers it a Class 1 misdemeanor to disseminate or sell nonconsensual pornography.

            The elements are:

  1. Any person who maliciously disseminates or sells
  2. Any videographic or still image created by any means whatsoever
  3. That depicts another person who is totally nude, or in a state of undress so as to expose the genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast
  4. Where such person knows or has reason to know that he is not licensed or authorized to disseminate or sell such videographic or still image
  5. And does with the intent to coerce, harass, or intimidate

The code section goes on to say “another person” includes:

  • Any person whose image was used in creating, adapting, or modifying a videographic or still image
  • With the intent to depict and actual person and who is recognizable as an actual person by the person's face, likeness, or other distinguishing characteristic

Legal Consequences Under the Code

Anyone found guilty under Virginia Code 18.2-386.2 can face severe penalties. A Class 1 misdemeanor can lead to up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

Legal Defenses if Charged

If charged under Virginia Code 18.2-386.2, there are several potential defenses that a Fairfax lawyer may suggest. These could include challenging the validity of the evidence, arguing the content was not in fact nonconsensual, or that the accused did not share the material with the intent to harass, intimidate, or coerce. A lawyer could argue the image is not based on a real person's likeness, or even challenge the constitutionality of the statute. If are charged with a violation of this statute, call Mr. Tyler Bezilla today for a free consultation.

Future of Deep Fake Pornography Legislation

As technology continues to evolve, so too will the laws that govern its use and misuse.

Possible Changes in Virginia Law

While Virginia is already at the forefront with Virginia Code 18.2-386.2, there is always potential for the law to be updated or expanded in response to the ongoing evolution of deep fake technology.

National and International Trends

Across the nation and around the world, we can expect to see more legislation specifically targeting deep fakes. As these technologies become more sophisticated, our laws will need to adapt to continue protecting individuals effectively.


Deep fake pornography is a grave issue, one that Virginia has chosen to confront head-on with Virginia Code 18.2-386.2. This law, which a Fairfax lawyer can help navigate, provides strong protections for victims and serious consequences for perpetrators. However, as technology evolves, so too must our legislation. In the face of this ongoing challenge, remaining informed and vigilant is our best defense.


  1. What is Virginia Code 18.2-386.2?
  • Virginia Code 18.2-386.2 is a law that explicitly prohibits the creation and distribution of nonconsensual pornography, including deep fakes.
  1. What are the penalties under Virginia Code 18.2-386.2?
  • Penalties can range from a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
  1. What can a Fairfax lawyer do if you're charged under Virginia Code 18.2-386.2?
  • A lawyer can help navigate the legal process, present potential defenses, and work to protect the rights of the accused.
  1. How can individuals protect themselves from deep fake pornography?
  • Individuals can protect themselves by being cautious about sharing personal photos and videos, using strong, unique passwords for all online accounts, and regularly monitoring their online presence.
  1. What's the future of deep fake pornography legislation?
  • Legislation is expected to evolve alongside the technology, with more comprehensive laws and stricter penalties likely on the horizon.

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