From 2004-2009 there were only two convictions for video voyeurism in Orange County, Florida; by 2014 the number raised to 10. Increased use of smartphones with photo and video capabilities as well as the commercial availability of small digital cameras attribute to the rise in numbers. Intentionally filming someone when they have the reasonable expectation of privacy may result in charges of video voyeurism.
Florida Statute §810.145 defines video voyeurism as: When a person for his or her own amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing another person, intentionally uses or installs an imaging device to secretly view, broadcast, or record a person, without that person’s knowledge and consent, who is dressing, undressing, or privately exposing the body, at a place and time when that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Video voyeurism can be easy to prove due to technological advances and video evidence. If you are accused of video voyeurism in Central Florida it is imperative that you do not allow law enforcement to search your cell phone without a warrant and to hire a criminal defense attorney.
If found guilty of video voyeurism, the penalty for those over 19 in the state of Florida can be any combination of the following: (1) up to 5 years in prison, (2) up to 5 years of probation, or (3) up to $5,000.00 in fines. If you are found guilty of video voyeurism of a minor, you will have to be designated as a sex offender and be required to register with the national registry. Also, any combination of the following may be imposed: (1) up to 15 years in prison, (2) up to 15 years of probation, or (3) up to $10,000.00 in fines.
Aside from pre-trial and trial defenses that are available in any criminal case, the defenses of no expectation of privacy or security surveillance system are available. In order to use the no expectation of privacy defense, the person must be in a state of undress with no expectation of privacy. In order to utilize the security system defense, notice must be conspicuous or posted where a reasonable person will see it, or the surveillance system’s presence must be obvious. It is however, unlawful to record customers in the dressing room or restroom stall where privacy is intended to afforded, without their permission.
Traditional voyeurism is distinguishable from video voyeurism as it simply means you were engaged in the act of watching someone in a place where they have an expectation of privacy, such as though a bedroom or bathroom window.