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Questions about Voyeurism Laws

Voyeurism can be a confusing concept, especially from a legal perspective. When it concerns invasion of privacy, illegal video surveillance, etc., not everyone is clear about their rights and provisions of the law. This often results in questions about voyeurism laws, penalties for voyeurism, and actions that people can take to curb it. Below are five of the most frequently questions that have been answered by Experts.

What is voyeurism?

Voyeurism is an interest in or a practice of spying on other people while they are dressing, having sex, or engaging in other intimate activities in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Victims of voyeurism are usually unaware that they are being watched. The person who is doing the watching—known as the “voyeur”—typically engages in the act of voyeurism out of a sexual interest derived both from the act of voyeurism and because of an interest in the person/people being watched, with whom the voyeur otherwise does not interact.

As general provision of the law, voyeurism is not a crime. However, voyeurism can still have serious legal repercussions, as each state has various laws related to voyeurism. There are different civil and criminal statutes and laws related to viewing without consent, being a “Peeping Tom”, photographing, video recording, and more.

What is the recourse if a person found him/herself on a voyeur website?

Legally the person’s option is limited if he or she is being viewed, illegally photographed, or filmed in a public place and his or her identity is not revealed. But if there are any financial gains the website is making using a person’s photograph or film, then he or she can make a strong case against the site. One must first write to the administrator of the website asking them to remove the pertaining image or video from the site.

Is it possible to be photographed unknowingly at your workplace?

The common areas in your workplace are not expected to have privacy. However, locker areas and private offices have a reasonable degree of privacy. It would be a felony if you are being photographed in an area where a person is expected to have reasonable privacy and your consent is not sought beforehand.

Who is a “Peeping Tom”?

A “Peeping Tom” is a person who peeks through windows, doors, or other similar places for the purpose of spying or invading the privacy of another person. It is unlawful to peek or eavesdrop on or around the premises of other people.

What are the consequences of voyeurism?

A person committing voyeurism may face the below penalties:
• The first-time offender is guilty of misdemeanor and can be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than three years or both, upon conviction.
• For the second and subsequent offense, he or she is guilty of a felony and can be fined not less than $500 or more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.

However, it’s important to remember that many states have different laws against voyeurism.

Voyeurism is an unlawful act of invading privacy of another person for sexual gratification without the knowledge of the other person. Definitions of and laws against voyeurism differ from state to state, and many times people are unsure if they should take legal action or not. If you have any questions on voyeurism you could ask Lawyers on JustAnswer for quick and affordable answers.

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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
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Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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