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Texas Penal Code - Section 43.23. Obscenity

Legal Research Home > Texas Laws > Penal Code > Texas Penal Code - Section 43.23. Obscenity

§ 43.23. OBSCENITY. (a) A person commits an offense if, knowing its content and character, he wholesale promotes or possesses with intent to wholesale promote any obscene material or obscene device. (b) Except as provided by Subsection (h), an offense under Subsection (a) is a state jail felony. (c) A person commits an offense if, knowing its content and character, he: (1) promotes or possesses with intent to promote any obscene material or obscene device; or (2) produces, presents, or directs an obscene performance or participates in a portion thereof that is obscene or that contributes to its obscenity. (d) Except as provided by Subsection (h), an offense under Subsection (c) is a Class A misdemeanor. (e) A person who promotes or wholesale promotes obscene material or an obscene device or possesses the same with intent to promote or wholesale promote it in the course of his business is presumed to do so with knowledge of its content and character. (f) A person who possesses six or more obscene devices or identical or similar obscene articles is presumed to possess them with intent to promote the same. (g) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the person who possesses or promotes material or a device proscribed by this section does so for a bona fide medical, psychiatric, judicial, legislative, or law enforcement purpose. (h) The punishment for an offense under Subsection (a) is increased to the punishment for a felony of the third degree and the punishment for an offense under Subsection (c) is increased to the punishment for a state jail felony if it is shown on the trial of the offense that obscene material that is the subject of the offense visually depicts activities described by Section 43.21(a)(1)(B) engaged in by: (1) a child younger than 18 years of age at the time the image of the child was made; (2) an image that to a reasonable person would be virtually indistinguishable from the image of a child younger than 18 years of age; or (3) an image created, adapted, or modified to be the image of an identifiable child. (i) In this section, "identifiable child" means a person, recognizable as an actual person by the person's face, likeness, or other distinguishing characteristic, such as a unique birthmark or other recognizable feature: (1) who was younger than 18 years of age at the time the visual depiction was created, adapted, or modified; or (2) whose image as a person younger than 18 years of age was used in creating, adapting, or modifying the visual depiction. (j) An attorney representing the state who seeks an increase in punishment under Subsection (h)(3) is not required to prove the actual identity of an identifiable child. Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1975, ch. 778, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1979; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1005, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

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Last modified: August 11, 2007