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Revenge Porn Laws in Texas

Law enforcement recently responded to a harassment case after a woman determined that nude videos of herself were available on Instagram. The video in question depicted the woman’s breasts, and data prior to the video’s removal revealed that in the hour the content was available, the video was watched by 14 people. The woman announced that she wanted to pursue charges.

In recent years, with increasing access to the internet and video use, cases of “revenge porn” have become much more common. Cases of revenge porn have become so common that the state of Texas recently enacted laws to address this behavior. In 2015, legislatures in Texas passed a law prohibiting revenge porn. With this new law in existence, it is important for people to understand the penalties now associated with these crimes.

What Constitutes Revenge Porn

Revenge porn includes any type of photo or video that is captured of an individual engaged in a sexual situation and is taken without consent from the subject. Revenge porn is most often posted with the intent to humiliate, intimidate, or shame the subject. While revenge porn is often captured by a lone individual, there are also cases of revenge porn involving websites that have shared these details. Most revenge porn websites, however, have since been disbanded.

Texas Revenge Porn Law

Texas revenge porn laws arose from a case in 2012 in which a woman discovered that her former romantic partner had distributed sexually explicit photos of her on a website. This woman along with 17 others initiated a class action lawsuit against the website’s operator.

On September 1, 2015, the state of Texas made it illegal to post private pornographic photos of another individual without that person’s consent. Called the Unlawful Disclosure or Promotion of Intimate Visual Material law and located at Section 21.16o the Texas Penal Code, the law prohibits several different activities. These prohibited actions include distributing or transferring photos of a person participating in sexual activity and without the subject’s consent. The subject also must have had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the material. Identifying personal information must also be shared in addition to the photos of the person engaged in sexual contact. It should also be noted that the law applies to videos of a person as well as photographs.

A person who is convicted of violating this law faces a Class A misdemeanor, which includes up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000. In addition to criminal penalties, a person can also face consequences arising from a civil lawsuit.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

Currently, more than 25 states have passed laws prohibiting criminalized porn. There are fortunately several strong legal defenses that a person can raise in response to being charged with violation of revenge porn laws. If you or a loved one is charged with violating revenge porn laws, it is essential to obtain the services of seasoned legal counsel. Contact the officers of Wheeler Law Office today.

(image courtesy of Zach Guinta)

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Wheeler Law Office
Denton Criminal Defense Lawyer
Located at: 101 S. Woodrow Lane, Suite 102
Denton, TX 76205
Phone: (940) 465-3178
Website: http://www.wheelerlawoffices.com