JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors Banner Image

Useful Information

News and Events

What is Cyberflashing?

  • Posted

Cyberflashing became a crime on 31st January 2024 as one of the new offences introduced by the Online Safety Act 2023. The guidelines published by the Crown Prosecution Service illustrate that it is a serious offence which carries severe punishments.

With a third of women reporting that they had been victims of cyberflashing in 2022, there was strong public demand for this conduct to be criminalised. However, as a brand new offence, we understand that you may have a lot of questions – what is cyberflashing? How is it committed? What defences are there?

Here at JD Spicer Zeb, we have put together a short article to help you find the answers to your questions. While we hope this information is useful, please note, it should not be taken as legal advice. If you need legal support with allegations of a cyberflashing offence, then please get in touch and our team can advise you.

What is Cyberflashing?

Cyberflashing is a brand-new sexual offence which was created by the Online Safety Act 2023 to criminalise certain instances of online non-consensual sexual behaviour. It is contained in section 66A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, and is committed where:

  1. A intentionally sends or gives a photograph or film of any person’s genitals to B; and
  2. Either:
    1. A intends that B will see the genitals and be caused alarm, distress, or humiliation;    OR
    2. A does so for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification and is reckless as to whether B will be caused alarm, distress, or humiliation.

Is Cyberflashing a Purely Online Offence?

Whilst the offence was introduced to tackle the rising incidence of sexual misconduct online, the offence does not just cover behaviour on the internet.

Rather, a person can commit the offence of cyberflashing by sending or giving the photograph or film by any means, including:

  • Sending the photograph or film to someone electronically

    e.g. by using social media, dating apps, Bluetooth, and AirDrop
  • Showing the photograph or film to someone in-person

    e.g. by displaying it on a device or exhibiting a physical photograph
  • Placing a photograph or film somewhere for someone particular to find

    e.g. by posting a photograph through someone’s letterbox

Is Cyberflashing the Same as Indecent Exposure?

Cyberflashing is a separate offence to indecent exposure. Indecent exposure is an offence under section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, and is committed where:

  1. A intentionally exposes their genitals; and
  2. A intends that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress.

Thus, there are 3 key differences between cyberflashing and indecent exposure:

  1. Cyberflashing involves the sending or giving of photographs or films of genitalia, whereas indecent exposure involves in-person exposure of genitalia.
  2. Cyberflashing may be committed where there is an intention to cause alarm, distress, or humiliation, whereas indecent exposure may only be committed where there is an intention to cause alarm or distress.
  3. Cyberflashing may be committed where the act is done for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, whereas indecent exposure may not.

How Often will Cyberflashing be Prosecuted?

Despite only coming into force on 31st January 2024, the first conviction for cyberflashing took place in February 2024. The 39-year-old man from Basildon sent unsolicited photos of his erect penis to a 15-year-old girl and a woman via WhatsApp. On 19th March 2024, he was sentenced to a total of 66 weeks in prison.

The Crown Prosecution Service have declared a commitment to prosecuting those who engage in cyberflashing now that the new law in place. Siobhan Blake, the Deputy National Lead on Rape and Serious Sexual Offences, stated that the Crown Prosecution Service are ‘ready and committed to tackling this unacceptable behaviour’, and ‘will work with police to build strong cases against offenders who use technology to harass, distress and abuse victims for their own pleasure’.

What is the Punishment for Cyberflashing?

Individuals who are convicted of cyberflashing could face up to two years in prison.

Further, offenders could be placed on the Sex Offenders Register, and be made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

However, a person found guilty of cyberflashing will not automatically be placed on the Sex Offenders Register. This will only occur in certain cases, such as where:

  1. the offence is committed against a child under the age of 18; or
  2. the offender receives a prison sentence; or
  3. the offender receives a community order of at least 12 months.

Are You Being Accused of Cyberflashing?

Being accused of cyberflashing can be extremely distressing, particularly as a charge could potentially result in a prison sentence or inclusion on the sex offenders register. To ensure you have the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome for your case, it is vital that you have the support and representation from solicitors specialising in handling sexual offences.

At J D Spicer Zeb, our solicitors understanding exactly what it required to build the strongest possible defence against these types of allegations. We can provide robust defence and close personal support, ensuring that you understand what steps need to be taken to achieve the best possible outcome in your cyberflashing case. Depending on the circumstances, this could mean having charges dropped altogether, or minimising the sentence where conviction is unavoidable.

We are highly skilled at collecting and presenting the various types of evidence that are relied on in cases of this nature, including both digital evidence and witness testimony. We will be able to clearly identify and flaws in the case against you and make sure that evidence which supports your case is clearly presented.

We have over 45 years of experience in dealing with criminal law matters and have also been accredited by the Law Society for Criminal Litigation. Our experience means that we have a strong track record of success for our clients, and it has helped us to build close relationships with many of the country’s leading criminal defence barristers.

If you are facing a cyberflashing charge, we are here to provide you with the support you need.

Related Matters:

We also provide support and guidance on various other sexual offences, including:

Our Related Cases

Fees and Funding

We will always be clear about the fees related to your case. If you need to attend court in relation to a cyberflashing charge, you may be able to get Legal Aid funding to cover some or all of your defence costs. Exactly how much financial assistance you may be eligible to receive and how you should apply for this will depend on which type of court you are prosecuted in.

If you do need to meet some or all of the cost of your legal defence, or if you wish to pay for our premium private service, we will clearly explain all of the costs involved and our fee structures. It is worth remembering that you may be able to recover some of your privately-paid legal costs if you are found not guilty in your cyberflashing case.

Please get in touch to discuss our criminal defence fees, or to find out more about the way we handle fees (both Legal Aid funding and private fees) for cyberflashing charges, please use the links provide below:

Contact our Cyberflashing Defence Lawyers Today

If you are due to attend the police station, require any urgent specialist advice, or immediate representation for cyberflashing, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

You can contact our dedicated criminal defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:

Or email: solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk

Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you quickly.

24/7 Legal Representation for Cyberflashing

Please get in touch for a free consultation with one of our expert criminal defence solicitors, as well as immediate representation and advice for cyberflashing.

We are available to represent clients all over England and Wales at any time, so please contact our Emergency Number at 07836 577 556.

Bespoke Private Fee Service

If you believe your case is likely to have serious consequences for you now, or in the future and you have the means to pay for this service

Read More

Do we offer free consultations? 

Read More

How can we help?

Common questions

We always work with the most experienced and best leading UK barristers, KCs (Kings Counsel). We cover all criminal cases 24/7 at the police station and court. Offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester cover cases across England and Wales. We can offer Legal Aid and affordable Private fee agreements. We can see you the same day, including virtually. Our Senior Partners supervise all of our cases.

How quickly do you respond?

We respond quickly even during out of hours. We do not get our work by paying for online adverts but based on the fact that few criminal law firms can match our 45 years of experience. Most of our cases are still from word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied clients. We are called daily by dissatisfied clients from firms with less experience than us. We respond very quickly to new enquiries. We know what clients seek and so we update clients rapidly.

Can you get cases dropped?

Yes, read about the recent cases we've helped our clients with here.

We always keep you updated and give straightforward advice. We will get cases dropped early where the case is weak or should not be prosecuted. We will be upfront with you about where you can benefit from a good result with an early guilty plea, such as a discount on your sentence. As we work on cases across all levels with clients from all walks of life, we are excellent at giving clear, spot-on advice. As an established firm, we can allocate a whole team to your case often at short notice to secure evidence to minimise the damage to you. 

Have you won any awards?


"JD Spicer Zeb demonstrated a clear commitment to client service through their work with vulnerable and diverse individuals in what can be severely traumatic circumstances".

Do you offer free consultations?

Where it is possible, we aim to provide an initial consultation to you. If we can speak to you, we can if required inform you about  –

  • Whether we can take the case on and our relevant experience.
  • Public and private funding benefits.
  • Assistance in applying for legal aid where we are likely to accept instructions.
  • An outline of options in police interview only. We will not advise you on which option to adopt.
  • Providing our free written guide explaining the police station process.
  • The gravity of routine and day-to-day offences you face.
  • Consequences of not attending the court or police station.
  • Consequences of interfering with any witnesses.
  • Retaining any evidence in support of your case.
  • If possible an outline of the elements of the offence that the police or CPS must prove.
  • This consultation will normally be by telephone or email and will only be for as long as we deem necessary to establish if we can act for you. If we cannot usefully give you any advice in this manner then we will not continue with the consultation. We will not discuss the case in depth for you to be able to decide on your plea or any significant aspect of the case, as this cannot be undertaken informally.
  • Referring you, if possible, to other firms for matters out of our specialism or if we cannot help.

Consultations do not apply to the following cases –

  • If we do not intend to take the case on.
  • Road Traffic cases, drink driving, drug driving, driving bans, speeding, no insurance, mobile phone use, points etc.
  • In all cases where we do not have the capacity to take your case or the availability of suitably qualified staff to provide an initial free consultation. This is applicable in all cases but especially where a more senior lawyer is required because of your personal needs or the complexity of the case.
  • Harassment/stalking/ coercive behaviour/malicious communications or road traffic cases and most sensitive cases. These cases are often too complicated to assess in short consultations.
  • The locations concerned may be too distant to represent you adequately or it may not be cost-effective for you or us.
  • The case is too complicated to assess or raises various charges or facts, complexity, or history to be considered informally or in a short consultation.
  • In most Legal aid transfers where legal aid is granted to another firm except in very grave cases, we may assess the case and merits for a transfer.
  • If your relationship has broken down with your existing solicitor or several solicitors.
  • If you have been released under investigation and have already had a police station attendance. 
  • If you hold legal aid with another firm and seek a second opinion.
  • If you are calling on behalf of the client as a friend or family member unless you have full authority and full facts.
  • To businesses.
  • Advising whether you were given good advice by your other solicitor.
  • Whether to decide to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Whether you have an arguable defence in law or factually complicated defences.
  • Any advice you have had after your first court appearance.
  • Any advice on appeal on conviction or sentence.
  • If we feel we are unable to communicate with you.
  • If we are likely to be conflicted or breach our professional rules.