Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Strikes Down Upskirt Statute as Unconstitutional

Posted on Jan 8, 2015 5:29pm EST

On September 17, 2014 the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals struck down Texas Penal Code § 21.15(b)(1) as unconstitutional.

Texas Penal Code § 21.15, Improper Photography or Visual Recording, made illegal taking photographs or videos of "upskirt" photographs, in which a person takes photographs or video of another person's body without their consent.

Ronald Thompson was charged in San Antonio District Court with 26 counts of improper photography after he was found to have recorded images of underage girls in swimwear. He filed a pre-trial application for a writ of habeas corpus, challenging the constitutionality of the statute. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest court in the State of Texas for criminal appeals, struck down the law as unconstitutional, reasoning that it violated the defendant's right to freedom of speech and right to expression protected by the First Amendment. As a result, the charges against Ronald Thompson were dismissed.

Since the law has been found unconstitutional, people who have been convicted of Texas Penal Code § 21.15, Improper Photography or Visual Recording may have the ability to file a habeas corpus petition pursuant to Article 11.07 of the Texas Code to challenge their conviction. If a habeas corpus petition or motion for post-conviction relief is successful, your appellate lawyer can be successful in getting your conviction vacated and possibly wiped off your criminal record.

Call the criminal appeals lawyers at Appeals Law Group today for a free consultation to see if your rights have been violated and if you qualify for a habeas corpus petition to challenge your conviction.