Improper Photography or Visual Recording Defense in Houston: Brazoria, Ft. Bend, Galveston, Harris & Montgomery Counties
Modern technology has given nearly everyone access to photo or video recording capabilities. Cell phone cameras, webcams, surveillance cameras and digital cameras are now abundant, affordable and easy to obtain. Although many people use these technologies for entertainment, work or for recording important events, there are instances when these devices are used for criminal purposes.
Inappropriate Photography or Video Recording in Texas
According to Chapter 21 of the Texas Penal Code, improper photography or visual recording refers to the act of using content-capturing devices to obtain images of someone without that person’s consent. This action becomes a crime in one of two ways. First, photographing or recording someone in a location that is not a bathroom or private dressing room without that person’s consent is a crime if it is done with the intent to cause sexual arousal or gratify sexual urges of any person.
Second, photographing or recording someone who is in a private dressing room or bathroom without that person’s consent in order to invade that person’s privacy or gratify a sexual desire is also a crime. Additionally, if someone knows the contents of the inappropriate video or photo and helps promote it anyway, they can be charged with improper photography or visual recording.
The wording of these laws may seem confusing, but they can be explained in a way that is easy to understand. Essentially, any person who intentionally takes photographs or makes video recordings of another person without that person’s knowledge or agreement may be subject to criminal prosecution if they made the recordings to invade privacy or for sexual purposes. These laws also apply to the broadcast, transmission, distribution or promotion of such images. For further explanation of these laws, consult with an improper photography or visual recording lawyer.
Improper Visual Recording Penalties
Engaging in any of the actions listed above is a criminal sexual offense that can be classified as a state jail felony. Even if someone posts a sign informing people that they may be recorded, this is not considered sufficient to legally obtain people’s consent. Some typical penalties for this crime include:
- A term of incarceration in a state jail facility for a period of time that is no less than 180 days and no more than two years
- Up to $10,000 in fines and fees
- Probation, mandatory psychological counseling and sex offender registration may also be assigned as punishments depending upon the facts of the case.
- Any of these punishments may be increased if the recordings depict minors or children, if the alleged offender has previous felony convictions or if the offender was responsible for a large amount of image distribution or promotion.
The nature of modern image-recording technology means that these laws can apply in many different situations. It takes an experienced improper photography or visual recording attorney who understands these laws and their applications to create a strong legal defense.
Speak to an Improper Photography or Visual Recording Attorney in Houston, TX
For more information about picture-taking or video recording laws in Texas, contact attorney Greg Tsioros at (832) 752-5972.