If you have been charged with voyeurism, you might be unsure about what to do next. Voyeurism and related crimes are serious charges that can impact your life negatively in multiple ways if convicted. A conviction requires the prosecuting attorney to prove the victim had an expectation of privacy as related to the facts of the case. Regardless of whether you are guilty of the charges, the law grants you due process. It’s in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and fight for the best outcome for your situation.
Understanding crimes that fall under the umbrella of voyeurism can provide more insight into your charges and what type of penalties could be coming your way with a conviction. Below, we take a closer look at voyeurism and its associated laws in Florida to provide some preliminary information until you have a chance to meet with a lawyer.
Advances in technology have changed the way laws define voyeurism, making those who use cell phones and cameras for recording others a crime in certain situations. In Florida, you can be charged under one of two sections in the state’s statutes. In some cases, people are charged under both sections. Florida Statute (F.S.) §810.14 lays out the broad crime of voyeurism, while F.S. §810.145 deals with video voyeurism.
Under Florida law, voyeurism occurs when a person secretly watches another person inside a home or other structure that provides a reasonable expectation of privacy. This also includes secretly observing another person’s intimate area, defined as any portion of a person’s body covered by clothes and intended to be protected from public view. Examples of voyeurism include:
Intent is the largest defining characteristic of voyeurism. Those charged with voyeurism in Florida are guilty of the offense when they observe another “with lewd, lascivious, or indecent.”
Florida’s statute about video voyeurism creates three separate offenses: video voyeurism, video voyeurism dissemination, and commercial video voyeurism dissemination. The biggest difference between voyeurism and video voyeurism charges is the presence of some type of recording device. The law describes video voyeurism as secretly recording another person without their knowledge or consent while they are dressing, undressing, or exposing their body when they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Intent also plays a large role in video voyeurism or dissemination charges. Recording or broadcasting must occur for amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, sexual gratification, profit, or to degrade or abuse the victim. Someone who allows another person to install an imaging device can also be guilty of video voyeurism. Video voyeurism can occur in multiple settings, including apartments, dressing rooms, bathrooms, tanning booths, and any other location someone expects to disrobe privately.
The penalties you might face in Florida for a voyeurism conviction depend on the exact situation, your age, and the age of the victim. First-time offenders convicted under ‘regular’ voyeurism are guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor and face up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Repeat offenders face up to five years in prison and a third-degree felony conviction that carries up to a $5,000 fine.
Those under age 19 face a first-degree misdemeanor conviction if found guilty of video voyeurism. This outcome carries up to one year of probation and jail time, plus a $1,000 fine. Those over the age of 19 face felony penalties if convicted of video voyeurism. A conviction is a third-degree felony that carries up to five years probation, five years in prison, and a $5,000 fine.
Repeat video voyeur offenders and those who are charged with video voyeurism of a child face the harshest penalties in Florida. These are second-degree felonies that carry up to 15 years of probation, 15 years in prison, and a $10,000 fine.
Voyeurism is a serious charge and a conviction stays with you for life. Consequences go beyond legal penalties and can negatively impact your personal and professional life too. If you have been charged with voyeurism, video voyeurism, or a related crime, you need an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney who can fight to get the best outcome for your case.
The board-certified legal team at Fighter Law has been helping those accused of crimes in Florida for more than a decade. We understand the challenges you face and are here to protect your rights and defend you against charges. Contact us today online or call (407) 344-4837 to discuss your charges and learn more about how we can help.
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