Voyeurism is the act of observing an unsuspecting individual who may be undressing, naked, or engaging in sexual activity for self-gratification. The victim is generally a stranger, but it can be a person the voyeur knows.

Voyeurism is a sex crime in many states. A sex crime such as sexual abuse is done with the intent to humiliate or sexually arouse the desire of any person. However, not every type of sex abuse involves touching a victim. Voyeurism is considered a type of abuse done for the sexual gratification of another, and often does not involve physical contact.

Is Voyeurism the Same as Stalking?

No. Stalking is defined as a pattern of behavior done to intentionally annoy, harass, or scare someone. The unwanted behavior is done to place the victim in fear of the behavior resulting in some form of harm such as injury or death to the victim or family members.

In contrast, a defendant who is accused of voyeurism often doesn’t wish to be discovered at all by his or her victims. The voyeurism act may be a single, isolated incident. However, some stalking cases do involve elements of voyeurism (such as when a person habitually engages in voyeurism of the same person).

What is Video Voyeurism?

Video voyeurism is done with a recording device such as a phone or camera. This type of act may also involve other legal/criminal issues, such as invasion of privacy or unauthorized use of a person’s image. If the sale of such images or videos occurs without their consent, further criminal charges may result as well. State laws may also have specific statues covering the use of cameras and other electronic devices in connection with criminal activity.

I Have a Nanny Cam in My Home; is this Considered Voyeurism?

It depends. The term “nanny cam” is used to describe tiny hidden cameras used in homes for the purposes of monitoring the interaction between a babysitter and children. It isn’t a criminal act to record video of the happenings in one’s own home. However, audio recordings aren’t permitted in many states.

It is a criminal act if the recording device is placed in the area of a home where there’s an expectation of privacy. These areas include bathrooms and bedrooms.

What are the Criminal Penalties for Voyeurism Conviction?

The severity of the punishment depends on the jurisdiction and whether it is classified a misdemeanor or felony. Misdemeanor charges may result in jail time for up to one year, and some criminal fines as well, depending on the circumstances. Felony voyeurism charges can result in longer prison sentences and higher criminal fines. Felony charges can also result in the loss of certain rights, such as the right to possess a firearm.

Should I Contact an Attorney for Help with a Voyeurism Charge?

Voyeurism charges can be complex, and laws covering such offenses may vary from state to state. To determine how to fight the charge, criminal defense attorney in your area. Your attorney can provide you with advice and representation for your case.