In the past several weeks, there have been numerous news stories covering the arrest of suspects charged with video voyeurism of an occupied dwelling. But what exactly is "Video Voyeurism?" Is video voyeurism against the law? In this article, we will cover the legal definitions and legal description regarding video voyeurism, according to Florida law.
In the State of Florida, there are three types of "Video Voyeurism" crimes.
- Video Voyeurism
- Video Voyeurism Dissemination
- Commercial Video Voyeurism
What is Video Voyeurism in the State of Florida?
According to Florida Statute 810.145 - Video Voyeurism, it is against Florida law to commit "Video Voyeurism." In Florida Florida Statute 810.145(2)(a), Video Voyeurism is a crime when an offender, for his or her entertainment, sexual arousal, amusement, profit, gratification, or to degrade or abuse another individual, intentionally installs or uses an imaging device to view secretly, record a person, or broadcast, without that individual's consent or knowledge, while the individual is undressing, privately exposing the body, dressing, in an area and at a time when that individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Under Florida Statute 810.145(2)(b), it is illegal to commit the actions in the aforementioned paragraph on behalf of another, for the profit of another, or to intentionally permit another to install or use an imaging device to secretly broadcast, record, or view an individual without that individual's consent and knowledge which the individual is undressing, privately exposing the body, or dressing in a place and at a time when that individual has a rational expectation of privacy.
According to Florida Statute 810.145(2)(c), it is illegal to for an offender, for the amusement, entertainment, gratification, sexual arousal, or profit of oneself or someone else, or on behalf of oneself or someone else, deliberately use an imaging device to secretly broadcast, view, or record through or under the clothes that are being worn by another individual, without that individual's consent and knowledge to view the body of that individual or to view the undergarments that are being worn by that individual.
Man, Allegedly Uses Camera at Hotel and is Arrested for Video Voyeurism in Florida
A July 16 news story on PostandCourier.com, reported that a man from Summerville, Florida was arrested for allegedly sliding a video camera under the door of an adjoining hotel room to spy on two women. The 49-year-old man faces video voyeurism charges after a complaint of voyeurism at a hotel room where the man was staying. The man was arrested and booked by the Key West Police Department. According to the Key West Police Department, the man admitted that he had used a small camera repeatedly while he has been on trips, and while he has been on work trips throughout the country. The news report states the suspect admitted that he had used his mini camera about 10 other times over the past year. Police officers seized the man's laptop, two cameras, and two hard drives. The police entered the equipment into evidence.
Last May, an Orange County Sheriff's Office employee was arrested for allegedly committing video voyeurism, according to a news report posted on ClickOrlando.com. The Orange County Sheriff's deputies arrested the Orange County Sheriff's Office communications specialist after an individual reported finding a video recording device that was allegedly put in a bedroom by the suspect.
If police are questioning you or a loved one or if you or a loved one are arrested on a charge of Video Voyeurism, call Musca Law at 1-888-484-5057 for a free case review.
Punishments for a Video Voyeurism Conviction in Florida
In the State of Florida, there are several different video voyeurism charges, and each offense carries the sentence an individual convicted of video voyeurism will receive will vary. In the State of Florida, Video Voyeurism charges range from a misdemeanor in the first-degree to a felony in the second-degree. The type of charge will depend upon the circumstances of the matter. For example, the age of the alleged perpetrator can be a factor. In the State of Florida, if the alleged offender is 19 years or under, he or she will receive a less severe charge in most cases. An offender who is 19 years of age or younger, he or she is typically charged with a misdemeanor offense. If the offender is over the age of 19, he or she could be charged with a felony in the third degree for a first offense. Repeat offenders are often charged with a second-degree felony. Also, if the offender is charged with making a video recording of children who are under their care, the charges will be upgraded.
- First-Degree Misdemeanors - A misdemeanor in the first-degree is punished with up to one (1) year in jail, and a monetary fine of up to $1,000.00.
- Third-Degree Felonies - A felony in the third-degree is punished with up to five (5) years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.00.
- Second-Degree Felonies - A felony in the felony in the second degree is punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison, a fine not to exceed $10,000.00, and fifteen (15) years of probation.
How to Defend Against Florida Video Voyeurism Criminal Charges
One of the most important defense strategies is in the hands of the defendant. If you are being questioned by law enforcement, it is important that you do not answer questions without an attorney present. You may answer questions concerning your name, address, and date of birth. However, you must always exercise your legal right to have an attorney present with you during a police interrogation. No positive or helpful statement that you provide law enforcement is admissible in your criminal trial. However, any damaging statements that you make can be used against you in your criminal trial. There are no advantages or benefits to answering questions without legal representation. In fact, there are 1,000s of cases where innocent people have been arrested solely based on information the suspect told police. You will be nervous. You will make mistakes. Remaining silent until you have an attorney present is perhaps your most important first step in an effective defense strategy.
Challenging the Possession or Ownership of a Video Recording Device
Defending against Video Voyeurism charges will depend on how the offense was allegedly committed. For example, if a video camera used in the alleged offense was found in a business bathroom, the defense could center around challenging the ownership of the video device. Challenging the possession or ownership of a video recording device can be an effective strategy for defending against video voyeurism criminal charges.
If you or a loved one are facing a Video Voyeurism charge, call Musca Law at 1-888-484-5057 for a free case review.