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Revenge Porn

How platonic or romantic relationships start, and end has changed drastically due to the internet. Many people find their significant others on online platforms or choose to end their relationship over an instant message rather than in person. In addition, people have also discovered new ways through the internet to get revenge such as disclosing intimate material.

Disgruntled lovers, friends or even complete strangers in some cases will post intimate visual material of another person without their permission. Usually, the purpose of the public post is to humiliate, ridicule, or to intimidate the victim. However, it’s been reported that some will post the material so they can gain a financial or personal benefit. This crime is referred to as the unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material.

“Revenge porn” or the unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material is considered a crime in Texas. It can lead to serious consequences including time in a state jail facility. Due to these statutory penalties, we highly recommend you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney for your case. 

Unlawful Disclosure of Intimate Visual Material Attorney in The Woodlands, TX

If you or someone you know has been arrested for posting revenge porn online, we highly suggest you secure trusted legal representation immediately. The penalties associated with unlawful disclosure are nothing to laugh at and can mean spending years in a state jail. 

Learn your legal options and how to fight back by calling Horak Law. Matthew Horak is an accomplished sex crimes attorney who can use his resources and knowledge to fight your case. Call (713) 225-8000 to set up your first consultation free with Horak and discuss your case in detail. Horak Law represents people throughout The Woodlands area including Conroe, Magnolia, Willis, and Splendora.

Overview of Revenge Porn in Texas 


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Legal Definitions for Revenge Porn Charges in Texas

The elements for unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material has some terms that have specific definitions in a legal setting. These definitions are important to understanding the elements of the crime and whether the prosecution can charge you with that crime. Listed below are those legal definitions. 

  • Visual Material – Film, photograph, videotape, negative or slide or any photographic reproductions. It also includes disks, diskettes, or other physical medium that allows images to be displayed on a computer or other video screen and have that image transmitted to a computer or other video screen.
  • Intimate Parts – Naked genitals, anus, buttocks, pubic area, buttocks or female nipple of a person.
  • Sexual Conduct – Refers to any actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation or sadomasochistic abuse.
  • Promote – In this context, promote means to procure, manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, deliver, transmit, transfer, mail, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, advertise or agree to do any of the above actions.
  • Simulated – Explicit depiction of sexual conduct that creates the appearance that actual sexual contact is happening and during the act shows any uncovered portion of breasts, genitals or buttocks.

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What Constitutes as Revenge Porn in Texas?

Unlawfully disclosing or promoting intimate material of another person online without consent is a serious crime. What’s unique about a revenge porn charge is how a person can be charged in a multitude of ways. Under Texas Penal Code 21.16, you’re guilty of the offense if:

  • Without consent of the person depicted and with intent to harm them disclosed visual material of the victim’s intimate parts exposed or engaged in sexual conduct;
  • The materials disclosure caused harm to the victim; and
  • The disclosure of the material revealed the victim’s identity in some way by:
    • Accompanying or subsequent information or material related to visual material;
    • Information or material provided by a third party in response to the visual material posted

In addition, you can be charged with unlawful promotion or disclosure if you intentionally threaten to disclose intimate visual material without the consent of the victim. The court will charge you if you threaten to disclose the material to obtain a benefit that is:

  • In return for not making the disclosure; or
  • In connection with the threat of disclosure 

Law enforcement can also charge you with the crime if you simply promote the visual material on an internet website or other forum of publication. It’s important to note that it’s not an admissible defense that the victim:

  • Created or consented to the creation of the visual material; or
  • They voluntarily transmitted the visual material you

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Texas Penalties for Unlawful Disclosure of Intimate Material

In Texas, the penalties for unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material are incredibly serious. The crime can result in a state jail felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 2 years in a state jail facility; or
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Thankfully, the statute does provide some affirmative defenses that can be utilized to reduce or dismiss charges. It is an affirmative defense to the prosecution if the disclosure or promotion of the material was done solely for: 

  • Lawful and common practices of law enforcement or medical treatment;
  • Reporting unlawful activity; or
  • A legal proceeding if the material is permitted or required by law 

Another affirmative defense that can be used in court is if the visual material depicts the victim in a public or commercial setting and voluntarily exposes their intimate parts or engage in a sexual conduct. A person is also immune from charges if the actor is an interactive computer service and the disclosure or promotion was voluntarily done by the victim.  


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Additional Resources

RAINN – Visit the official website of the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) to find more information surrounding revenge porn. Access the site to learn sexual abuse statistics, survivor stories and how to get involved. 

Texas Sex Crimes Laws – Visit the official website to the Texas Penal Code to learn more about the crime of unlawful promotion or disclosure of intimate visual material. Access the site to learn more about various sex crimes including voyeurism, sexual assault and indecent exposure.


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Revenge Porn Defense Lawyer in Harris County, Texas 

If you or someone you know has been arrested for posting or distributing intimate material of another person, we strongly urge you to gain legal counsel. For an experienced and skilled attorney, we recommend you call Horak Law. Matthew Horak is a practiced attorney who can utilize his techniques to defend your case.

 Get in contact with us now at (713) 225-8000 to set up your first consultation. We can sit with you and discuss your legal options to chart out your defense plan. Horak Law represents people throughout the greater Harris County area and surrounding counties including Brazoria County, Liberty County, Montgomery County and Fort Bend County.


Our Office in The Woodlands
1790 Hughes Landing Blvd #400 The Woodlands, TX 77380 (281) 907-4990
Our Office in Houston
5300 Memorial Dr #750 A Houston, TX 77007 (713) 225-8000
Request Your Consultation Fill out the form below and we'll be in touch within 24 hours!

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Matt Horak Matt Horak is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014

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