Invasive Visual Recording

Texas Penal Code § 21.15 prohibits the invasive visual recording of another person. Specifically, this Texas statute makes it illegal to photograph, record, broadcast, etc., someone’s intimate areas or while in a bathroom or changing room without their consent and with the intent to invade their privacy. It also makes it illegal to knowingly promote any content that was procured through invasive visual recording.

Conviction under invasive visual recording does not preclude the defendant from any other criminal charges that may apply based on the same conduct. What this means is that if someone commits one or more other crimes while committing invasive visual recording, that person can face multiple charges. For example, someone may be charged with invasive visual recording and trespassing or invasive visual recording and assault. The penalties for multiple charges will stack on top of each other, which could result in quite a significant prison sentence if convicted.

Texas Invasive Visual Recording Attorney

Sex crimes such as invasive visual recording carry hefty penalties and can ruin every aspect of your life. If you have been arrested for this crime, hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Texas sex crime lawyer Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm carries over 30 years of experience in criminal law and can form a strong defense for your case.

The Benken Law Firm defend those accused of invasive visual recording throughout all communities in Harris County including Houston, Spring, Humble, Webster, Crosby and more. Call (713) 223 - 4051 today to schedule a free consultation with Mr. Benken.

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Promote Defined Under Texas Law

Understanding the legal definitions of certain words is crucial to correctly interpreting the law in Texas. The word “promote” is defined under Texas law by Texas Penal Code § 43.21. It includes selling, giving, providing, mailing, delivering, transferring, transmitting, publishing, circulating, disseminating, presenting, exhibiting, and advertising invasive recording material, or offering or agreeing to do any of these.

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Intimate Areas Defined Under Texas Law

Another term to understand in the context of invasive visual recording in Texas is “intimate areas.” A defendant should not be charged with the crime of invasive visual recording for merely photographing or recording someone’s foot or neck. For the purposes of Texas law, intimate areas include the genitals, pubic area, anus, buttocks, or female breasts. The female breast is specified as the area below the top of the areola.

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Defenses Against Invasive Visual Recording Charges

One of the core ways that lawyers find defenses against criminal charges is by reading the plain language of the applicable statute(s). For example, the invasive visual recording law in Texas requires that the defendant record the victim without their consent and with the intent to invade their privacy. Someone might set up a security camera in their backyard without knowing it aims directly into a neighbor’s bathroom window. Here, the defendant would lack the requisite intent to invade their neighbor’s privacy.

It is not uncommon to see signs alerting passersby to cameras on a property. If all the requirements are met, except consent, merely posting signs informing the other party of the recording will not be sufficient to satisfy consent. In other words, Texas law does not provide a defense simply because there were signs stating that cameras were recording.

Countless other defenses may be available based on a defendant’s specific circumstances. For example, the police could violate a defendant’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures while procuring evidence of invasive personal recording. The police could also fail to read a defendant their Miranda rights while taking them into custody. Some defenses could result in charges being reduced or dismissed. Others could render certain evidence inadmissible at trial. When evidence is inadmissible at trial, that means the prosecution can’t use it against the defendant. When too much important evidence is deemed inadmissible, the prosecution may be left with no choice but to drop the case. Evidence could also be deemed inadmissible if there are mistakes in how the evidence is handled, which are sometimes called chain of custody errors. Criminal defense attorneys should always conduct a thorough review of their cases to see if any of these defenses could protect their clients.

Invasive visual recording charges are serious criminal offenses in Texas, so it is important to retain a Texas criminal defense attorney who can navigate the legal complexities in making a good defense argument.

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Invasive Visual Recording Is A Felony In Texas

There are five categories of felonies in Texas: capital felonies, felonies of the first through the third degree, and state jail felonies. An invasive visual recording is considered a state jail felony. You can find the penalties for a state jail felony conviction in Texas Penal Code § 12.01. A conviction at this level is punishable by 180 days to 2 years in state jail. The defendant may also be fined up to $10,000. Someone convicted of a state jail felony can also be penalized as a Class 3 felony if they used a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime or immediate flight from the crime scene. A state jail felony for invasive personal recording charges may also be penalized as a Class 3 felony if the defendant has certain prior felony convictions. A Class 3 felony is punishable in Texas by 2-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

It should be noted that invasive visual recording is not a reportable conviction for sex offender registry purposes. This is beneficial for the defendant because registering as a sex offender can have a serious impact on the rest of someone’s life. However, anyone conducting a background check may interpret an invasive visual recording charge as a sexual offense anyway. For example, someone convicted of invasive visual recording may have a hard time attracting romantic partners.

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Additional Resources

Texas Penal Code § 21.15 – This statute from the Texas Penal Code defines invasive visual recording and classifies it as a felony.

Texas Penal Code § 43.21 – This statute defines the word “promote” under Texas law, which is relevant when it comes to the distribution of material obtained through invasive visual recording.

Texas Penal Code § 12.01 – This plain language statute provided by the Texas Capitol defines the penalty guidelines for different levels of crimes in Texas.

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Houston Invasive Visual Recording Attorney | Harris County, TX

If you have been accused of invasive visual recording, your freedom and reputation remain at stake. Unfortunately, a person facing sex crime charges will more than likely face prejudice and discrimination from law enforcement and Texas prosecutors. You need a skilled Houston sex crimes attorney on your side to obtain a favorable outcome in your case.

To schedule a free consultation with The Benken Law Firm, call (713) 223 - 4051 as soon as possible. The Benken Law Firm defends clients of invasive visual recording charges in all communities in Harris County and surrounding counties. Some of these communities include Houston, Tomball, Spring, Hunters Creek Village, River Oaks and many more.

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