In the heat of the moment, sending a racy self-photo to your partner or spouse may seem like a fine idea and one that can't come back to haunt you, but if the relationship ever goes sour, those indecent shots can take on a life of their own in cyberspace.

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Instances of "revenge porn" have popped up enough to prompt laws in states throughout the country, including New Jersey.

That law is being used against NFL linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, formerly of the New York Jets, who will appear in court Wednesday for allegedly sending naked pictures of a woman to her friends and family following a "domestic incident" in Summit.

"You're either doing it to humiliate somebody or exact revenge on somebody," said Lt. Glenn Ross with the Cyber Crimes Unit of the New Jersey State Police.

According to Ross, the unit doesn't see many revenge porn cases, but chances are it occurs more than what's being reported.

"Really I think people are more embarrassed to bring it forward than anything else," he said.

Taking or distributing images of someone without their permission can be a third-degree crime and involve jail time in New Jersey.

Ross said the real danger of these unauthorized posts is the fact that once they're floated online or to another device, there's no controlling where they end up.

"Once 10, 100…thousands of people copy these images, they're gone," he said. "Who has copied that image and posted it somewhere else or copied it to their own hard drive or onto their own computer and can later distribute it to anybody they want?"

At the Rose Relationship Learning Center in Ocean, Stacey Rose said she'd advise all couples to avoid taking and sharing any pictures that one might regret at a later time.

"If there is anything a person is doing in a relationship that they can say they may regret later, they may want to think twice about doing it," Rose said.

If those photos have already been taken, though, Rose said it's up to the potential victim to ask that the photos not be distributed beyond the relationship.

"If the ex does not listen and continues to expose pictures or videos on the internet, I would recommend getting input from an attorney," she said. "Quite frankly though, when an angry ex exposes pictures/videos of their ex-partner, it speaks volumes about the person doing the exposing and says very little, if anything, about the person being exposed."