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Is that sexual text or DM a violation of Texas laws?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2022 | Criminal Defense

It can be hard to tell where to draw the line when you flirt with someone, especially online. Although many people meet new romantic interests on dating apps or social media, it can be very hard to get to know someone that way.

There are times when attempts at digital flirting can cross the line and become criminal. Some people will send racy or even lewd photographs of themselves to prospective partners. If the other person did not specifically request or consent to receiving that image, the person sending it may have broken the law.

Texas penalizes sending unsolicited lewd images

Sending someone lewd images or videos without their consent is much like the in-person offense of flashing. Just like a person victimized by a flasher in a public park could go to the police, so too can those who receive unsolicited pictures of other people’s genitals on social media platforms or dating apps in Texas.

The penalties include up to $500 in fines for the person sending the unsolicited image. While the consequences may not be as serious as they would be for an act of in-person flashing, they can still leave you with a criminal record. If there is another person in the image or photo, there could be several other laws that apply, including the law prohibiting the non-consensual distribution of someone’s private images.

As with in-person interactions, asking first and obtaining consent can be the difference between a positive online interaction and one that results in a visit to the police station. Understanding what behaviors may constitute sex crimes in Texas can help you avoid accidentally breaking the law.