Dedicated Attorneys in Central Texas
Free Consultations  254.220.4225

Court Upholds Texas Revenge Porn Law

The State of Texas recently enacted a so-called revenge porn law that can land those convicted of the crime of revenge porn behind bars for up to a year, and the law was recently upheld by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals as not being in violation of our First Amendment right to freedom of speech (and expression). All told, it is complicated, but better understanding the law’s path forward can be enlightening. If you are facing a revenge porn charge – or any other criminal charge – do not wait to consult with an experienced Harker Heights criminal defense attorney.

The Setup

The Texas Tribune reports that the recent ruling by the state’s highest criminal court – the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals – overruled a lower court’s ruling in 2018 that found the state’s revenge porn law unconstitutional. The revenge porn law itself renders posting someone else’s private and intimate photos online without the subject’s permission a misdemeanor.

A revenge porn conviction has serious implications and can lead to up to a year in jail and to fines of up to $4,000. The law was initially challenged three years ago when the 12th Court of Appeals asked a lower court to dismiss revenge porn charges (based on the unconstitutionality mentioned) against a defendant who had posted someone else’s very private photos without her consent.

The Lower Court’s Ruling

The 2018 ruling by the lower court determined the following:

  • The content-based restrictions of the revenge porn law were invalid and overly broad, which translates to restricting more speech than is allowed by the constitution.

  • In order to be constitutional, the state would have to prove that the defendant in question purposefully posted images that were intended to be private, that the defendant knew he or she had no permission to post, and that clearly identified the picture’s subject.

The Higher Court Disagrees

The Court of Criminal Appeals disagreed and shared that, while the revenge porn law does, indeed, restrict content, it is tailored to an exact government interest – that of protecting the sexual privacy of individuals. Further, the higher court clarified that the law is not applicable in those situations in which the accused unknowingly shared specific images. Most states now have some form of a revenge porn law on their books, but it is a fairly new concept that is just

beginning to find its way.

Turn to an Experienced Harker Heights Criminal Defense Attorney for the Legal Guidance You Need

If you are facing a revenge porn charge – or any other criminal charge – Brett Pritchard atThe Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Harker Heights, Texas – is an accomplished criminal defense attorney who dedicates his impressive practice to helping clients like you prevail with beneficial case resolutions. We are here for you, too, so please do not put off contacting or calling us at 254-501-4040 today for more information about how we can help you.

RELATED READING

Categories: