With the advances in digital technology, seemingly “innocent” acts are now becoming criminal offenses. For instance, a person may take a picture or video of someone walking down the street, whom they think is attractive and think nothing of it, but they need to think again.
While it may be perfectly legal to “look” at members of the opposite sex because one finds them beautiful or handsome, taking such natural affections to the next level and “taking a picture” or a video of any part of the person’s “intimate area” is a crime.
Some women experience having men take pictures of them on the street, or video as they walk by. The object of the man’s affections may be flattered by his behavior, or she may feel very upset about being photographed or videotaped. She may feel “violated.”
Regardless, when a person takes pictures or videotapes another person’s intimate areas without their consent, they’re committing a state jail felony under Sec. 21.15 of the Texas Penal Code. Men, women, and even teenagers are frequently guilty of this offense, and because it’s prosecuted so harshly, it’s better not to take the risk.
What is invasive visual recording exactly?
Often, people mistakenly believe that it’s perfectly okay to take pictures of people out in public and record them. Their reasoning is that the people are out in public, so it’s fair game, but that’s not the case. Under Sec. 21.15 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits the offense of invasive visual recording when he or she:
- Photographs or videotapes, broadcasts or transmits (e.g. sharing on social media, sending a text message, sending an email) a visual image of someone’s “intimate area,” which includes the breasts, buttocks and groin.
- Photographs, videotapes, broadcasts or transmits a visual image of someone in a changing room, including a locker room, dressing room, or a swimwear changing area, such as the kind you find at a gym, or a community or recreation center pool.
- Knowing the character of a visual image of another person’s intimate area, broadcasts, promotes, or transmits the image to someone else (e.g. forwards a text or shares on social media etc.).
Under Sec. 21.15 of the Texas Penal Code, the offense of invasive visual recording is a state jail felony, punishable by 6 months to 2 years in jail, and a fine up to $10,000.
Facing state jail felony charges?
It’s understandable how a non-criminal with a good life, and even a bright future ahead of them can unknowingly commit the offense of invasive visual recording. Often, it’s a teen or young adult that takes pictures of an attractive person and forwards the images to their friends without realizing the consequences.
The problem is that when these images and recordings depict the person’s intimate area (as they often do), the “photographer” is committing a state jail felony, and can face prison and thousands of dollars in fines. Don’t let this happen to you!
If you are facing criminal charges for invasive visual recording, contact our Plano criminal defense firm for a hard-hitting defense!