Obscene Display or Distribution / Texas Penal Code §43.22

Texas Criminal Law

The Obscene Display or Distribution crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you displayed or distributed an obscene photograph, drawing or other visual material in a way that someone might easily be offended or alarmed. Learn more detailed information about the Obscene Display or Distribution offense below.

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Obscene Display or Distribution is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 9 “Offenses Against Public Order and Decency”, Chapter 43 “Public Indecency.”

What is the current Texas law about Obscene Display or Distribution?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Obscene Display or Distribution in Penal Code Section §43.22 as follows:[1]

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly displays or distributes an obscene photograph, drawing, or similar visual representation or other obscene material and is reckless about whether a person is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display or distribution.

The definition of “obscene” for purposes of Subchapter B of Penal Code Chapter 42 can be found in 43.21(a)(1). It is the same definition for other crimes in the same subchapter, including the Texas offense of Obscenity. Learn more about the definition of obscene

How can I be charged with Obscene Display or Distribution?

You can be charged with Obscene Display or Distribution if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 43.22(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Obscene Display or Distribution?

A conviction for Obscene Display or Distribution is punished as a Class C Misedemeanor,[2] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $500. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors

Legal References:

^1. Texas Penal Code §43.22^2. Texas Penal Code §43.22(b)

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