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Texas and Revenge Porn Laws

Texas and Revenge Porn Laws

Revenge porn laws are very generally associated with posting risqué (or worse) photos of someone without their knowledge and with the intention of getting back at them for one reason or another. Since many of us do not enjoy being photographed from even our bad side, we tend to understand how upsetting the idea of revenge porn can be. Because the world of online antics moves at a speed that far outpaces the law, there have been some growing pains when it comes to the law’s ability to address the matter of revenge porn, but progress is being made. If you find yourself facing a charge of revenge porn, it is time to consult with an experienced Round Rock criminal lawyer

The Original Texas Revenge Porn Law

While Texas had a revenge porn law on the books in 2015 that related to posting intimate photos of one’s partner without the person’s consent, the law was ultimately shot down. The original charge was a misdemeanor that carried penalties of up to a year behind bars and a fine of up to $4,000. Opponents carefully parsed the law and ultimately determined that it was unconstitutional and a direct infringement on free speech. In 2018, a Texas Court of Appeals agreed with this assessment. Appeals and counter appeals continue, and where they will stop remains a mystery. 

The Texas Senate Passes a Bill

In 2019, the Texas Senate – in an attempt to bypass the confusion – unanimously agreed to a change in the state’s revenge porn laws. To maneuver around the issue of free speech, the change includes the provision that, in order to rise to the level of revenge porn, the perpetrator of the act must intend to harm the person in the intimate photos. The idea is to punish those who engage in malicious postings and to protect those whose free speech may unintentionally be thwarted. Put simply; it is complicated. 

Texas and the Legal Definition of Revenge Porn 

To engage in revenge porn, you do not have to intend to exact revenge against an ex. Instead, the crime of revenge porn refers to intentionally distributing or otherwise disclosing photos and/or videos of someone else’s private parts or of the person engaged in a sexual act. This means that, for the post to rise to the level of revenge porn (which, as it turns out, is a woefully inadequate title), the perpetrator need not have ever been an intimate partner of the victim and need not be attempting to exact revenge. A revenge porn charge remains a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction carries the following penalties:

  • Up to one year behind bars

  • Up to $4,000 in fines

An Experienced Round Rock Criminal Lawyer Can Help 

If you have been charged with revenge porn in the State of Texas, Brett Pritchard atThe Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Round Rock is well positioned and well prepared to help. For more information about what we can do to help you, please don’t wait to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 today. 

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