Invasive Visual Recording
For years, legislators and other advocates declared the improper photography statute that existed in 2014 was overly broad and therefore unconstitutional. In a response to that, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals struck down the statute and enacted a new law in June 2015 known as invasive visual recording. The legislation is often referred to as the “upskirt bill,” as most offenders are arrested for attempting to photograph/record up a female’s dress or skirt in a public place without the alleged victim’s permission.
Unlike the improper photography statute, the invasive visual recording law does not require prosecutors to prove the defendant had an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of themselves or any other person. For that reason, it’s much easier for the District Attorney to convict a person of invasive visual recording. It’s more urgent now than ever to ensure you have a legal defense ready if you’ve been accused of or arrested for invasive visual recording.
Austin Invasive Visual Recording Attorney, TX
Commonly referred to the “peeping Tom” or “creeping” crime, invasive visual recording not only carries harsh penalties but also a negative social stigma. Even simple accusations could make a major impact on a person’s reputation and relationships with friends and family. Fight back if you’ve been charged with invasive visual recording with experienced legal counsel. Attorney Jackson F. Gorski has the resources, skills, and extensive network necessary to mount a formidable defense against the prosecution.
Schedule your first consultation with The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski by calling our firm at 512-960-4646. The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in both Austin and Georgetown and accepts clients in other counties including Travis County, Williamson County, Burnett County, Hays County, Caldwell County, Blanco County, Bell County, Lee County, Milam County, and Bastrop County, TX.
- Definition of Invasive Visual Recording in Texas
- Penalties for Invasive Visual Recording
- Statute of Limitations for Invasive Visual Recording
- Additional Resources
Voyeurism of any kind is illegal in the State of Texas and is referred to as invasive visual recording under the Penal Code. It’s important to note, that just because an individual has been arrested and charged with a crime doesn’t mean they are convicted of one. The prosecution must prove all elements under the Penal Code Section 21.15 beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury of their peers. This is by no means an easy task, especially if the defendant has an effective defense at the ready.
The Penal Code defines invasive visual recording as doing any of the following actions without the other person’s consent with the intent to invade the privacy of the other person.
- The defendant photographs or videotapes or electronically records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of any of the following:
- Image of another person changing in the bathroom or changing room
- Any intimate area of another person and the alleged victim has a reasonable expectation that the intimate areas are not subject to public view
- The defendant knows the character and content of the recording, photograph, broadcast, or transmission, promotes a photograph, broadcast, recording, or transmission described above
In addition, any conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under a different section under the Penal Code, then the offender may be prosecuted under this other section or the other law.
For purposes of the statue, the term “intimate area” is the genitals, pubic area, buttocks, anus, or female breast of a person whether naked or clothed. Not only that, the term “promote” under the Penal Code Section 43.21(a)(5) is defined as any means to issue, manufacture, give, sell, lend, provide, deliver, transfer, mail, publish, transmit, distribute, disseminate, circulate, exhibit, present, or advertise, or to offer or agree to do the same.
Since invasive visual recording can be humiliating or offensive to the victim, it comes with serious penalties. Under the Texas Penal Code Section 21.15, an invasive visual recording is classified as a state jail felony offense. The maximum sentence for a state jail felony is:
- Up to two years in state jail
- A fine of up to $10,000
Nearly every crime under the Texas Statutes has a statute of limitations. The purpose of this statute of limitations is to implement a deadline for prosecutors to file criminal charges. This time limit ensures that a speedy trial is imminent as well as protects the integrity of the evidence overall for trial. Like many other crimes, invasive visual recording has a statute of limitations for prosecutors.
In Texas, the statute of limitations is determined by the classification of the crime unless stated otherwise in legislature. Since invasive visual recording is a state jail felony offense, the statute of limitations is three years. So, if the prosecution waits longer than three years to file criminal charges—they will be barred by the court from doing so.
Stop Street Harassment — Visit the official website for the Stop Street Harassment (SSH), which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization “dedicated to documenting and ending gender-based street harassment worldwide.” Access this site to learn more about their research, find prevalence statistics, and read tips for dealing with people who harass you in public.
Invasive Visual Recording Laws in Texas– Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code for the full statutory language of Invasive Visual Recording. Access the site to learn the elements for the crime, penalties for the crime, admissible defenses, and other offenses.
Invasive Visual Recording Defense Attorney in Austin, TX
If you or someone you know has been arrested of invasive visual recording, contact The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski. Attorney Jackson F. Gorski is a committed and tireless advocate for those accused of sexually motivated crimes. He can examine the facts of the case and develop a defense designed to reduce or dismiss your charges altogether.
Schedule your first consultation with The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski by calling our office at 512-960-4646 or simply submitting an online contact form. The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has locations in both Austin and Georgetown, Texas.