Are you facing charges of voyeurism or video voyeurism?
The potential crime of video voyeurism comes into play when the alleged perpetrator uses cameras to capture images of victims in a private situation, such as dressing (or undressing), using the bathroom or engaging in sexual activity. With the rise of the internet and digital photography over the past few decades, states have been taking drastic steps to crack down on voyeurs that may share, trade, or sell photos and videos online.
Louisiana is among many states with broadly written laws on the subject of video voyeurism. The letter of the law in Louisiana says it is illegal to take video or photographs of people without their permission and then use those images for a “lewd or lascivious purpose.” If the photograph or video subject is under the age of 17, the perpetrator faces from two to 10 years in prison if convicted. It should be noted that the letter of this Louisiana law does not specify that the images be taken in a private situation. In some cases, the constitutionality these broadly written laws has come into question.
A common legal issue surrounding video voyeurism is a citizen’s “expectation of privacy.” If a voyeur uploads films or photographs to the Internet, the images could remain there forever, which is considered a continuous invasion of privacy. The “expectation of privacy” is a legal concept that the United States Supreme court has repeatedly upheld.
Charges of video voyeurism can have many legal consequences. Depending on the circumstances and evidence, including the age of the victim, video voyeurism may be considered a misdemeanor or felony. A conviction can lead to a short jail sentence, fines, prison terms, registration as a sex offender, probation, court-ordered counseling, and even civil lawsuits.
Video voyeurism laws are complicated and often vague. It is always best to consult with an experienced professional such as New Orleans criminal defense attorney Elizabeth B. Carpenter when facing serious legal issues. Ms. Carpenter is based in New Orleans but practices throughout the Southern Louisiana area and will help you understand your rights and options under the law and develop the best strategy for your defense.
The basis of our Video Voyeurism Defense
Past cases have revolved around whether the images were captured in a public or private setting. It’s not illegal to shoot video or take photographs of people in public places. Nor is it against the law to become aroused or masturbate within the privacy of one’s home.
For a prosecutor to prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that a suspect committed every element of a voyeurism crime, it must be shown that the victim had a reasonable expectation privacy at the time and place of the recording. Locations with a reasonable expectation of privacy may include private offices and bathrooms where doors can be locked. However, images captured in certain common areas of the workplace, such as a locker room, may not meet this definition.
Contact a New Orleans Criminal Defense attorney today
A conviction on charges of voyeurism or video voyeurism can have serious and lasting consequences, even after you serve your time. The law office of Elizabeth B. Carpenter can assist with your legal needs in this area. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation by calling (504) 373-4624 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.