Invasive Visual Recording

Over the past ten years, Texas has seen an explosion in the prosecution of criminal defendants for the sex-related crime of improper photography or visual recording charged under § 21.15, Penal Code. Although this statute was created in 2001, prosecutions have become more frequent because of the development of the internet and availability of inexpensive computers, digital cameras and equipment. These new technologies have made it easier to secretly photograph or videotape sexual conduct without consent and spread pornography including revenge porn.

Criminal charges for violations of Section 21.15, Penal Code, are particularly serious because the cases often involve multiple images or video recordings, each of which can be prosecuted separately. Additionally, for these crimes, judges in Texas have the discretion to order a defendant to serve consecutive sentences following a single trial.


Elements of Invasive Visual Recording under Section 21.15

Under Texas Penal Code Section 21.15, invasive visual recordings is charged as a state jail felony. Each element fo the offense must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt including:

  • the defendant photographed or videotaped or used other electronic means to record, broadcast, or transmit a visual image;
  • with intent to invade the privacy of the other person;
  • without the other person's consent;
  • of an intimate area of another person;
  • if the other person has a reasonable expectation that the intimate area is not subject to public view;
  • photographs or by videotape or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of another in a bathroom or changing room; and
  • knowing the character and content of the photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission.

The statute also prohibits promoting a photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission described above.


Definitions under the Invasive Visual Recording Statute in Texas

For purposes of the invasive visual recording statue in Texas, the term “female breast” means any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola. The term “intimate Area” means the naked or clothed genitals, pubic area, anus, buttocks, or female breast of a person.

“Changing room” means a room or portioned area provided for or primarily used for the changing of clothing and includes dressing rooms, locker rooms, and swimwear changing areas.

“Promote” means to manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmit, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, or advertise, or to offer or agree to do the same.

A person acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to a result of his conduct when it is his conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or to cause the result.


Finding a Lawyer for Invasive Visual Recording

If you were charged with the criminal offense of Improper Photography or Visual Recording under Texas Penal Code 21.15, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Antonio, TX, at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC. Find an attorney experienced in representing clients charged with sex crimes and related offenses for improper photography intended to invade privacy under Penal Code 21.15(b)(2) and improper photography to arouse under Penal Code 21.15(b)(1).

Don Flanary represents clients throughout San Antonio, TX, and the surrounding communities of New Braunfels, Alamo Heights, Schertz, Boerne, Seguin, Hondo, Kirby, Timberwood Park, Universal City, Converse, Live Oak, Canyon Lake, Cibolo, Fair Oaks Ranch, Floresville, Helotes, Lackland AFB, Lakehills, Pleasanton, Selma, Windcrest and Terrell Hills.

Don Flanary also represents clients in Bexar County and the surrounding counties of Medina County, Atascosa County, Bandera County, Wilson County, Kendall County, Comal County, and Guadalupe County.


This article was last updated on Tuesday, December 27, 2016.

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