California law has two specific penal code subsections to protect the public from those commonly called “peeping Toms.” The first covers peeking while loitering while the second involves using a device of some kind to violate someone’s privacy. If you have been accused of either of these crimes, a San Diego criminal lawyer can help you fight the charges and protect your reputation.
The first peeping Tom law outlaws peering through the window or door of an inhabited structure without having lawful business with the owner or occupant. For example, if you come to a job interview and are seated outside the interviewer’s office and see him or her walking around the office in the nude through a crack in the door or the office’s blinds, you aren’t violating the law. On the other hand if you were peering through that same person’s window from the street, solely for the purpose of looking through the window, you would be. A San Diego criminal attorney can help you show that you had a legal reason to be in the place where you were when the alleged spying took place.
The other subsection of the law prevents spying on someone with a device such as a telescope, binoculars, a camera or a video camera. This law is intended to protect people from those who might not be peeping from the same property. In order to allow business owners to operate security cameras, it is written in a very specific manner to only outlaw the secret filming of someone’s body or undergarments, these laws are also used to ban upskirt photography. Because this law features a lot more specific details, these cases are much more complex than the other type of peeping Tom law, which is why you should immediately contact a San Diego criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with this crime.
Both forms of peeping Tom behavior are misdemeanors that fall under the umbrella of disorderly conduct. This means they are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,000 -with the strictest penalties used against those who are repeat offenders and those who spied on minors.
These crimes require a very specific set of circumstances to occur in order for a party to be found guilty, which means there are many defenses available in these types of cases. Even if you are undeniably guilty of the crime, it can still pay off to work with a top-quality San Diego criminal defense lawyer as he may be able to negotiate an alternative sentence that involves probation rather than jail time.
If you have been accused of peeping on someone illegally, Peter M. Liss can help. Please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation with a top San Diego criminal attorney.
Creative Commons Image by Robert Meeks