New Texas Law Alters the Legality of Sending Unwanted Nude Photos | Atascosa County Criminal Defense Attorney
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New Texas Law Alters the Legality of Sending Unwanted Nude Photos

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Karnes County criminal defense attorney sextingWith the resurgence of dating apps and communication through texting and social media platforms, the sending of explicit photos has skyrocketed. Online dating websites that originally relied on computer access and instant messaging have now become even more accessible with smartphones, apps, and a constant Internet connection. A phenomenon known as “sexting” involves the sending of sexually explicit photographs through electronic means. This is a common occurrence with teens and young adults, but it can become a criminal act if the parties are under the age of 18. Sexting can involve both parties’ consent, but can often be unsolicited through dating apps’ messaging platforms. Texas legislators have addressed this issue, taking legal action against the senders of this lewd content.

The Signing of House Bill 2789

Numerous Texans have filed complaints after receiving unwanted sexually explicit photos through texts or other forms of instant messaging. Many of the recipients are females who feel that they are being targeted by males posing as potential romantic prospects. According to statistics compiled by YouGov Plc., approximately 40 percent of women report receiving such content without providing consent. After reports from many concerned parents about the possibility of their child receiving such lewd content, Texas legislators decided to take action against these senders. House Bill 2789 was signed by Governor Greg Abbott in May 2019 and went into effect this past September. Anyone found to have sent sexually explicit material without the consent of the receiving party now faces Class C misdemeanor charges with a maximum $500 fine. This law is not reserved solely for text messages; it can also include other digital messaging platforms such as email, social media, and dating apps.

Is This Enforceable?

There are a number of strategies that a defense attorney can use and some are questioning the constitutionality of the law altogether. First Amendment rights may be in question and it can be difficult to prove that the person accused was the actual sender. The individual facing charges can easily claim that a third-party picked up his or her phone or hacked into his or her account to send the explicit content. This also places other photos into question, such as sending images to your medical provider for diagnosing purposes or posting/sending photos of you breastfeeding your child. There is a fairly fine line between what is considered sexually explicit, artistic, or constitutes freedom of speech, especially in modern times.

Contact a Wilson County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Perhaps you are facing accusations of sending sexually explicit photos that you know nothing about or maybe you thought consent was given before hitting the send button. Regardless, you need an experienced attorney to work by your side. The blurred lines of this new legislation can leave you facing criminal charges for something that you never realized was a crime. At BCP Criminal Defense Attorneys, we have helped numerous clients facing a wide variety of criminal charges, including those considered sex crimes. With over 40 years of experience and a track record of winning cases, we are prepared to take on your case. Call our tenacious Floresville sex crimes attorneys at 830-769-1010 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.texastribune.org/2019/08/14/Texas-new-law-sending-unwanted-nudes-dating-apps-texts/

https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/pqm8ufrima/dick%20pics%20data.pdf

https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/pdf/HB02789I.pdf#navpanes=0 

 

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