Texas' Revenge Porn Laws

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The issue of revenge porn has become more and more prevalent with the explosion of the internet in our lives and with the advent of social media platforms (Read more about divorce and social media). It is suddenly very easy to disseminate compromising photographs to many, many other people in the blink of an eye – and often in the heat of the moment. Texas’ revenge porn laws have undergone some changes recently that are worth considering further.

Texas’ Controversial Original Law

In June 2015, Texas passed a law that made publicly posting an intimate photo of one’s partner without his or her consent a Class A misdemeanor that was punishable by up to a year in prison and with up to $4,000 in fines. This quickly became controversial in relation to constitutionality and the right to free speech. In May 2019, the Texas Senate voted unanimously to modify the state’s revenge porn laws to include having the intention of harming the person in question. The idea is to bolster protections of free speech while continuing to punish those bad actors who are deemed to have posted the photos and/or videos in question maliciously.

Revenge Porn Does Not Require Actual Revenge

People often think that so-called revenge porn is the act of posting sexually explicit videos or photos as a means of getting back at an ex, but revenge need not be a component of the crime. In fact, revenge porn is simply the act of intentionally posting visual imagery of another person's intimate body parts or depicting another person engaging in a sexual act. The person in question need not be a former sexual partner of the accused, and the intention can be to humiliate or to hurt – rather than to exact revenge.

(In some circumstances, Selfies Can Qualify as Child Pornography. Click on the link to learn more)

Revenge Porn Is a Sex Crime

Revenge porn in Texas is classified as a sex crime, and most sex crimes are felonies (Read more about sexual offenses in Texas). Revenge porn, nevertheless, remains a Class A misdemeanor charge. The judge in your case, however, has the discretion to require you to register with the Texas sex offender registry if you are convicted. (If you are on the Texas sex offender registry, click here to learn how to remove your name from it)

Revenge Porn Is Also Sexual Harassment

Revenge porn is also recognized as sexual harassment of the person depicted in the photos and/or videos in question, which means that you could also face a civil lawsuit. The relief you could be required to provide upon conviction can include:

  • Damages of up to $1,000 for each intentional violation
  • Damage of up to $500 for each violation determined not to be intentional
  • Financial damages for mental anguish
  • Court costs and reasonable legal fees

Revenge Porn Charges Are Serious – Consult with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Attorney

Revenge porn charges are relatively new charges that are intended to help deter people from posting compromising photos or videos of others – now that we have the ease and effectiveness of the internet to assist with such actions. If you are facing revenge porn charges, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a formidable criminal attorney who is committed to fighting for your rights and to forging your strongest defense. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.

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