If you face charges for videotaping someone without their consent in Texas, the first thing you should do is contact a criminal defense attorney. State law classifies Invasive Visual Recording as a sexual offense, regardless of what the prosecution says your alleged or perceived intent was.
Invasive Visual Recording is a state jail felony. A conviction can mean time behind bars, as well as the social stigma of committing an alleged sexual offense.
If you’ve been arrested for Invasive Visual Recording—or suspect you’re under investigation—contact Attorney Kent Starr today. For almost 26 years, he has served clients in the Plano area and throughout northern Texas. And now in your time of need, he’s ready to help you.
Texas Invasive Visual Recording Law
According to Texas Penal Code § 21.15, the Invasive Visual Recording law is as follows:
“A person commits an offense if, without the other person’s consent and with intent to invade the privacy of the other person, the person:
(1) photographs or by videotape or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image 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;
(2) photographs or by videotape or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of another in a bathroom or changing room; 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).”
Note that the only “intent” the prosecution must prove for these charges is the “intent to invade the privacy” of another individual. There does not have to be proof that the alleged offense was committed for sexual gratification.
What to Do After an Invasive Visual Recording Arrest
As the defendant in a criminal case, you have legal rights that must be upheld. If you are arrested for Invasive Visual Recording, here are the steps you should take.
(1.) Invoke your right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions asked by law enforcement. Police are often skilled and effective in interrogation techniques. They may come across as helpful or sympathetic to your situation. But never forget that law enforcement works for the prosecution. Politely state that you don’t want to answer any questions and that you want to speak with an attorney.
(2.) Don’t hand over evidence without a search warrant. Law enforcement may give you the impression that they have a search warrant when in fact they do not. If they request to see your smartphone, computer, or any other device, you may reply with “Can I see a copy of the search warrant?”
- If they don’t have a search warrant, you are not obligated to hand over your personal belongings or allow them to search your home, car, or place of work.
- If they do have a search warrant, read it carefully. Is the address correct? For example, if the warrant states that the police can only search the inside of your home, they cannot then go to your storage unit.
(3.) Call a bail bond attorney. Texas law allows attorneys to post bonds for their clients, but not all law firms offer this service. Mr. Starr is a Plano, TX bail bond attorney. He is available 24/7 to secure your release. There are several benefits to working with a bail bond attorney. One call can get you out of jail and start your legal representation. In addition, Mr. Starr can negotiate the terms of your release and possibly reduce your bail amount.
Invasive Visual Recording: Related Crimes
If the police arrest you for Invasive Visual Recording, there’s a good chance you could face other related charges. The prosecution will often attempt to stack Invasive Visual Recording with other crimes, such as:
- § 21.16. Unlawful Disclosure Or Promotion Of Intimate Visual Material
- § 21.17. Voyeurism
- § 21.18. Sexual Coercion
- § 21.19. Unlawful Electronic Transmission Of Sexually Explicit Visual Material
We know how outrageous these claims can be. But the worst thing you can do, as an accused individual, is to downplay or brush off these charges.
Can You Go to Jail for Invasive Visual Recording in Texas?
Yes. According to Texas Penal Code, § 12.35, the punishment for Invasive Visual Recording is:
- Between six months and two years behind bars in a state jail
- A fine of up to $10,000
You could face enhanced charges if the alleged crime involved a deadly weapon or you already have a prior felony conviction.
There is nothing as “just” six months or “just” one year behind bars. This is time away from your job and your family. A criminal conviction and incarceration have far-reaching consequences including:
- Separating you from your children and loved ones
- Lost wages and professional opportunities
- Deportation back to your home country, if are not a US citizen
- The lifelong stigma of having a felony on your record
Even after your release, you will face obstacles:
- Difficulty finding steady employment.
- Difficulty finding housing. Some landlords screen out applicants with a felony record. You may not be able to live where you want to or within your budget.
- Parenting obstacles. Your child’s other parent could use your incarceration or conviction against you in a custody dispute.
If you face Invasive Visual Recording charges, what you don’t need is a “plea bargain” attorney. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight for the best possible outcome for your case.
Invasive Visual Recording Defense Lawyer in Plano, TX
An unseen person taking a picture with a smartphone.
photographing the interior of a house with a smartphone
Don’t let anyone—including an inexperienced or unmotivated attorney—tell you that an Invasive Visual Recording conviction is “no big deal.” Or, that you should be grateful for a plea bargain for the minimum sentence of six months.
Attorney Kent Starr is not a “plea bargain” attorney who is intimidated by the prosecution. He is an experienced and tenacious criminal defense lawyer. Take a look at his Google reviews and his YouTube video testimonies. Over the years, he’s built a reputation as a compassionate and skilled criminal defense attorney.
If you or your loved one face Invasive Visual Recording charges, you will benefit from a free consultation with Attorney Starr. You can discuss the specific details of your case and learn what your options are. During this meeting, Attorney Starr can also show you the outcomes for similar cases he’s handled. This is all a matter of public record, and he is happy to discuss these results with you. Contact Attorney Kent Starr today.
Texas Penal Code, Chapter 12. Punishments
Texas Penal Code, Chapter 21. Sexual Offenses