Texas Improper Photography or Visual Recording
Defense Lawyer for Illegal Videotaping or Photography
In Texas, it’s a crime to photograph, videotape record, broadcast, or transmit a visual image of another person at a location (that is not a bathroom or private dressing room) without first obtaining the other person’s consent; and the recording or broadcast is made with the “intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire” of any person.
It’s also a crime in Texas to photograph or videotape record, broadcast, or transmit a visual image of another at a location that is a bathroom or private dressing room if the recording is made without the other person’s consent; and the recording or broadcast is made with intent to invade the privacy of the other person, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, or knowing the character and content of the photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission, promotes a photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission.
Both of these situations are State Jail Felony charges. A sign or signs posted letting a person know he or she is being photographed or that a visual image of the person is being recorded, broadcast, or transmitted is not enough to establish the person’s consent.
Is it illegal to videotape someone without their permission?
The appellate court seated in Texarkana wrote a colorful introduction to an opinion that appropriately characterizes the Texas law against Improper Photography or Visual Recording, “In the 50s, before the advent of video cameras and cell phone videos, a popular song advised us that standing on the corner and watching females pass by was acceptable conduct and that “you can’t go to jail for what you’re thinking.” Watching may still be acceptable conduct, but recording that parade may violate the law in Texas today.” Cooper v. State, 326 S.W.3d 757 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2010).
The Texarkana opinion, which is not binding on the Fort Worth Court of Appeals, articulates that the prosecution must prove that the person accused of Improper Photography or Visual Recording must be the videographer. Of course, this is likely not an issue in a location where the person accused of Improper Photography or Visual Recording has exclusive control of the premises. This law against videotaping or recording someone is not a very litigated statute, so if you are accused of violating this statute, you need an experienced Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney that is willing to fight for you and think outside the box. Cody Cofer has experience effectively handling a variety of felony sexual accusations. Call us to set up an appointment to discuss the specific allegations in your Improper Photography or Visual Recording case, today.