Understanding Your Rights If You’re Accused of Video Voyeurism
Advancement in technology moves at lightning speed. It seemed like just yesterday we had to prop up our bulky video cameras onto our shoulders if we wanted to record something. Today, we have the ability to make cameras that are the size of a fingertip, and almost everyone carries a video camera in their pocket wherever they go.
Normally, this technology is beneficial and allows us to quickly capture moments in time that we otherwise would have missed. Other times, however, this technology can get us into trouble. If you are caught recording someone at a time in which they may reasonably expect privacy, you could find yourself fighting a charge for video voyeurism.
What Qualifies as Video Voyeurism in Florida?
According to Florida statute 810.145, a person could be charged with the offense of video voyeurism if they satisfy the following qualifications:
- Installed an imaging device to secretly view, broadcast, or record someone without their consent.
- Committed the act for amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit for themselves or on behalf of another, or to degrade or abuse another person.
- Captured a person on video at a place and time when they had a reasonable expectation of privacy–such as a bathroom or fitting room.
A person commits the offense of video voyeurism dissemination if they create an image described in the manner above and:
- Intentionally disseminate, distribute, or transfer the image to someone else.
- Distribute the image for the purpose of amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing someone else.
An offense of commercial video voyeurism has been committed if a person creates an image described in the manner above with the intention of selling it to another party.
Penalties You Could Face for a Florida Video Voyeurism Charge
Charges for video voyeurism are ineligible for sealing or expungement even if you received a withhold of adjudication. Depending on the age of the defendant and the victim, a video voyeurism charge could classify as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
For defendants under the age of 19, a first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by:
- One year in jail
- One year of probation
- Fines of up to $1,000
Defendants facing video voyeurism charges over the age of 19 will be charged with a third-degree felony, punishable by:
- Up to five years in prison
- Five years of probation
- Fines of up to $5,000
If the defendant holds prior any prior convictions for video voyeurism, the charge is upgraded to a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:
- Fifteen years in prison
- Fifteen years of probation
- Fines of up to $10,000
Any video voyeurism against a child is also charged as a second-degree felony and requires that the defendant also register themselves with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as a sex offender.
How a Lawyer Could Help You Fight a Florida Video Voyeurism Charge
If you are facing a video voyeurism charge in Florida, the consequences can be severe. When you partner with Umansky Law Firm, one of our skilled sex crime attorneys may be able to defend your video voyeurism charge with a variety of defenses. Possible defenses could include disputing the expectation of privacy, arguing your lack of intent or even challenging the ownership of the recording device.
Don’t let your life be defined by a single mistake. Call our office or complete an online contact form to speak directly with one of our Central Florida area attorneys today. We are ready to help day or night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Virtual consultations are available.