WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: Tennessee

Statutes: Tennessee

View all
Updated: 
May 9, 2019

39-13-605. Photographs; dissemination

(a) It is an offense for a person to knowingly photograph, or cause to be photographed an individual, when the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior effective consent of the individual, or in the case of a minor, without the prior effective consent of the minor’s parent or guardian, if the photograph:

(1) Would offend or embarrass an ordinary person if such person appeared in the photograph; and

(2) Was taken for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the defendant.

(b)(1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, “photograph” means any photograph or photographic reproduction, still or moving, or any videotape or live television transmission of any individual.

(2) As used in this section, an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, regardless of the location where a photograph is taken, if:

(A) The photograph is taken in a manner that would offend or embarrass a reasonable person; and

(B) The photograph depicts areas of the individual’s body, clothed or unclothed, that would not be visible to ordinary observation but for the offensive or embarrassing manner of photography.

(c) All photographs taken in violation of this section shall be confiscated and, after their use as evidence, destroyed.

(d)(1) A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(2) A violation of this section is a Class E felony if:

(A) The defendant disseminates or permits the dissemination of the photograph to any other person; or

(B) The victim of the offense is under thirteen (13) years of age at the time of the offense.

(3) A violation of this section is a Class D felony if:

(A) The defendant disseminates or permits the dissemination of the photograph to any other person; and

(B) The victim of the offense is under thirteen (13) years of age at the time of the offense.

(e) Nothing in this section shall preclude the state from electing to prosecute conduct in violation of this section under any other applicable section, including chapter 17, parts 9 and 10 of this title.

(f) In addition to the punishment provided for a person who commits the misdemeanor unlawful photographing in violation of privacy, the trial judge may order, after taking into account the facts and circumstances surrounding the offense, including the offense for which the person was originally charged and whether the conviction was the result of a plea bargain agreement, that the person be required to register as a sexual offender pursuant to the Tennessee Sexual Offender and Violent Sexual Offender Registration, Verification and Tracking Act of 2004, compiled in title 40, chapter 39, part 2.