Voyeurism is the criminal act of secretly observing another person who is in a private state, for the purpose of sexual gratification. An act of voyeurism also includes creating videos in a place where privacy would be the norm, such as dressing rooms, bathrooms, private residences, or tanning beds without the knowledge of the undressing or changing person his or her clothes. A perpetrator may also commit voyeurism when he or she uses a camera to view, record video, or take photographs up a woman's dress, into an adjoining hotel room, or into any other private place.
In most voyeurism criminal cases, the accuser and the accused do not know each other. However, many voyeurism criminal charges are alleged by former employees, ex-spouses, or former lovers who allege they are the victim of voyeurism, video voyeurism, or "revenge" porn. Revenge porn is a crime where the perpetrator posts explicit videos or photos online along with the full name and other personal information in order to embarrass the victim.
Voyeurism and video voyeurism are serious criminal offenses, and these crimes are severely punished in the State of Florida. In fact, these crimes are taken so seriously by the criminal justice system that some police officers and prosecutors receive specialized training in order to investigate and prosecute these types of criminal offenses more effectively.
If you, a friend, or a family member has been arrested for voyeurism pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 810.14, contact Musca Law and speak with one of our experienced Florida voyeurism defense attorneys.
Florida Voyeurism Penalties and Punishments
A first-time conviction of voyeurism is usually charged as a misdemeanor in the first-degree. In the State of Florida, first-degree misdemeanor voyeurism is punished with a jail sentence of up to one year, one year of probation, and up to a $1,000 fine. If the defendant is arrested for a second or subsequent voyeurism offense, that person will be charged with a felony in the third-degree. A third-degree felony voyeurism conviction is punished with a jail sentence of up to five years, five years of probation, and a fine of up to $5,000.
Florida Statute Section 810.145 Video Voyeurism
Section 810.145 of the Florida Statutes states that an individual could be charged with video voyeurism if a person:
- For their own entertainment, sexual arousal, profit, gratification, or to degrade or abusing another person, deliberately installs or uses an imaging device to view secretly, record, or broadcast another person, and without that person's consent or knowledge, while the individual is undressing, dressing, or privately exposing their body, at a time and place when that individual has a logical expectation of privacy;
- For the entertainment, amusement, sexual arousal, profit of another, gratification, or for the behalf of another, purposely allows the installation or use of an imaging device to view surreptitiously, record a person, or broadcast, without that individual's consent and awareness, who is undressing, privately exposing the body, or dressing, at a time and place that individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy; or
- For the sexual arousal, amusement, gratification, entertainment, or profit of oneself or another, or on behalf of another or oneself, willfully utilizes an imaging device to covertly view, record, or broadcast, through or under the clothing that is being worn by another individual, without that individual's consent or knowledge, with the intention of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by that individual.
Punishments for a Video Voyeurism Conviction in the State of Florida
If an individual has been arrested for a first-time video voyeurism offense, he or she will most likely be charged with misdemeanor video voyeurism in the first-degree. A first-degree misdemeanor video voyeurism charge is punished with up to one year in jail, one year of probation, and a fine of no more than $1,000. If an individual is arrested for a second or subsequent video voyeurism charge, the defendant will likely be charged with a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony video voyeurism conviction is punishable with up to five years in jail, five years of probation, and a fine of up to $5,000.
According to Florida Statutes Section 810.145(8)(a), video voyeurism becomes a third-degree felony when the accused is:
- A person who is eighteen years of age or older who engages in video voyeurism against a child under the age of 16 regardless if the adult knows the child's age or not.
- A person who is eighteen years of age or older, is employed at a voluntary prekindergarten education program, school, or private school, and commits video voyeurism against a student of the voluntary prekindergarten education program, school, and private school.
Defenses Against Voyeurism Charges
There are several pretrial and trial defenses that an experienced criminal trial attorney can raise to defend a client charged with voyeurism or video voyeurism. The defense strategy will vary depending on the facts and circumstances of the matter. Two specific legal defenses used to defend against Voyeurism charges are:
The "No Expectation of Privacy" Defense – In Florida, it is not a crime for someone to watch another in a "state of undress" wherever an individual does not have an expectation of privacy. For example, at a public beach.
The "Video Surveillance System" Defense – In the State of Florida, it is not against the law to watch someone else on a video surveillance system as long as the surveillance system is located in plain view on-premises, and the video surveillance system is immediately obvious to visitors, patrons, or passersby.
Free Case Review With an Experienced Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
If you, a member of your family, or a friend have been arrested for voyeurism or video voyeurism, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Musca Law has over 150 years of combined criminal defense experience.
Allegations of voyeurism or video voyeurism may result in severe punishments, especially if the alleged victim is a minor. Musca Law defends people accused of all types of crimes throughout the State of Florida. Our attorneys will fight hard to exploit any weakness in the prosecution's case. We also fight hard to focus on the strengths of your case.
Musca Law also provides a high level of personalized attention and service. We keep you updated about important case developments. Contact Musca Law 24/7 at (888) 484-5057 to receive your free case consultation today.