austindefender

Criminal defense in Austin Texas.

PC 21.15 Improper Photography

Posted By on March 4, 2009

As is often the case, the Texas statute “Improper Photography” is not a model of clarity.

Sec. 21.15.  IMPROPER PHOTOGRAPHY OR VISUAL RECORDING.

(a)  In this section, “promote” has the meaning assigned by Section 43.21.
(b)  A person commits an offense if the person:
(1)  photographs or by videotape or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of another at a location that is not a bathroom or private dressing room:
A)  without the other person’s consent; and
(B)  with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person;
(2)  photographs or by videotape or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of another at a location that is a bathroom or private dressing room:
A)  without the other person’s consent; and
(B)  with intent to:
(i)  invade the privacy of the other person; or
(ii)  arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person; or
(3)  knowing the character and content of the photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission, promotes a photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission described by Subdivision (1) or (2).
(c)  An offense under this section is a state jail felony.
(d)  If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section or the other law.
(e)  For purposes of Subsection (b)(2), a sign or signs posted indicating that the person is being photographed or that a visual image of the person is being recorded, broadcast, or transmitted is not sufficient to establish the person’s consent under that subdivision.

If you break it down, though, it’s not that complicated.

The first part’s saying it’s a crime to take a picture of someone, without their consent, if you’re doing it to “arouse” someone.

It’s also saying it’s a crime to transmit an image, without consent, if you’re doing it to arouse somebody.

And of course, it applies to moving pictures as well as the still kind.

And it’s a state jail felony.

So, keeping that in mind, consider:

Criminal Intent?

By posting this photo, have I (a) transmited (b) an image (c) of a person (d) without her consent (e) with the intent to arouse someone?

(I think my defense will have to be that, considering how hard that pose must be on her head, permission to be “aroused” is implied.)

Seriously, though, there almost couldn’t be a better example of a statute that’s both vague and overbroad.


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