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An Overview of Florida Statute §810.145 Video Voyeurism

Incidents of video voyeurism are on the rise everywhere, including Florida. Just recently, an ESPN reporter was secretly recorded in her Orlando hotel room talking about matters involving other personnel at the company, according to the New York Post. Another ESPN employee was secretly video recorded in her hotel room in a state of undress several years ago. The perpetrator was apprehended and subsequently convicted. Stories also abound regarding hidden cameras located in bathrooms and other places where people have an expectation of privacy such as in Airbnb locations, locker rooms, and many other places.

The crux of video voyeurism is the lack of consent and knowledge of the people being recorded on video, which is often accompanied by audio, in a situation in which the person expects privacy. Surveillance videos capturing people walking in the street or approaching an outside door to home because these areas are not private spaces. Public spaces such as street surveillance cameras, video cameras in stores, common areas of buildings like the lobby areas, and even police surveillance cameras monitoring vehicle traffic are permissible because people do not have any expectation of privacy while we are in public. By contrast, a video camera set up in a fitting or changing room would be video voyeurism because people expect that a fitting room in a clothing store is private.

Being charged with video voyeurism is a serious offense in Florida. Therefore, defending these charges requires representation by a knowledgeable Florida video voyeurism defense lawyer with the skill and resources to understand the nuances in Florida’s video voyeurism laws and create a winning defense.

Musca Law is a full-service criminal defense firm whose practice covers all of Florida. Musca Law’s video voyeurism defense lawyers rely on their extensive experience defending video voyeurism charges in Florida to help protect their clients’ legal rights. Video voyeurism charges in Florida are highly nuanced and complicated. The evidence often involves the analysis of video cameras, computers, and other digital equipment. Having the right lawyer who has access to resources that could assist in defending video voyeurism charges in Florida could make the difference between being sent to jail or remaining free. Call Musca Law today at 888-484-5057 to learn how their Florida video voyeurism defense attorneys could protect your freedom.

Florida Statutes §810.145 sets for the crime of video voyeurism and establishes punishments based on the severity of the criminal acts. Section 810.145 uses technical terms that must be defined so the entire law could be understood. The statute uses the word broadcast to mean capturing a visual image electronically with the intent to show it to another. An imaging device is a digital, electronic, or mechanical device, camera, still-recorder, motion picture camera, or another item that can record, store, or transmit visual imagery to another. The phrase “place and time when a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy” is defined as a location, including but not limited to dressing rooms, tanning booths, bathrooms, and inside a residence or hotel, in which a person could disrobe or dress without concern that he or she will be viewed in a state of undress. Lastly, the phrase “privately exposing the body” means uncovering a sexual organ.

The crime of video voyeurism is complete when a person, acting alone or for the benefit of another, installs or allows to be installed, an imaging device which broadcasts, records, captures, of allows a person to view another in a state of undress or privately exposing their body when the subject has an expectation of privacy at that particular time and place. The person capturing the image must do so with the intent to derive amusement, sexual arousal, entertainment, gratification, profit, or using the video to degrade or harass another. This includes the act of “up-skirting,” as well.

The crime of disseminating video voyeurism is complete when the person who records a prohibited image distributes, disseminates, or transfers the image to another person. Similarly, commercial video voyeurism is the act of selling an unlawfully recorded image or transferring the image to another who, in turn, sells it to others.

Certain acts are exempted from prosecution under §810.145. Law enforcement officers who are conducting surveillance for a legitimate law enforcement purpose, the open and obvious presence of a video camera or surveillance camera, or a sign that is conspicuously hung that calls attention to the presence of a video surveillance system. Additionally, internet providers and wireless service providers are not subject to the prohibition against dissemination generally.

The potential punishments for video voyeurism depend on factors such as the severity of the crime and the perpetrator’s age. Any person who is under nineteen-years-of-age and is convicted of an act prohibited by §810.145 commits a first-degree misdemeanor. The maximum punishments for a first-degree misdemeanor is a one-year jail sentence and a fine not to exceed $1,000.00.

By contrast, a person who commits video voyeurism and is older than nineteen-years-of-age commits a third-degree felony. A conviction for a third-degree felony for video voyeurism carries the possibility of a five-year state prison sentence and up to a fine of $5,000.00. However, a conviction for a subsequent offense may be punished as a second-degree felony, with a maximum of fifteen years committed to state prison and a $10,000.00 fine. A second-degree felony could be charged against any person who is eighteen and in the care of a person under sixteen who commits an act of video voyeurism against the child, an employee of a school who records a student, and a person 24-years-of-age or older who records a child sixteen or younger. The offender could also be ordered to complete a term of probation as well.

Defenses to the crimes of video voyeurism are based on the facts of the case. Depending on the case, arguing the subject did not have reason to believe he or she was in private, or by contesting the possession or ownership of the recording devices. Additionally, challenging the constitutionality of the police work and not speaking with the police will help defend a charge of video voyeurism in Florida.

Musca Law: Sophisticated Video Voyeurism Defense

Musca Law is available 24/7 to meet your needs and protect your rights. Call 888-484-5057 right now to discuss your Florida video voyeurism charges. We look forward to making a difference for you!

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