Bulgarian Students Inspire State Legislatures to Strengthen Video Voyeurism Laws
Whittel & Melton, LLC 866-608-5529 – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys
Last July, two college students visiting from Bulgaria apparently discovered tiny cameras hidden throughout their Westchase, Florida apartment.
Police claim these recording devices were hidden inside gadgets that resembled motion sensors and smoke detectors.
The girls accused their employer, who also subleased them the apartment, of recording them in their bedroom and bathroom. The man was never charged because deputies couldn’t find evidence that the cameras were recording or transmitting video.
However, the case did catch the attention of state legislators.
Governor Scott signed a bill into law on April 6 strengthening video voyeurism laws.
The law will take effect July1, and it increases the penalty for video voyeurism from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony for anyone older than 18.
This change allows an increase in the fines or jail time that someone convicted of video voyeurism might face. Additionally, it can make it easier for law enforcement to acquire a search warrant in order to collect evidence.
Video voyeurism is already illegal in places where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, however this new law adds “residential dwelling” to the list as well.
With digital technology making it easier than ever to capture photographs or video footage of unsuspecting individuals, the sexual crime of video voyeurism has gained the attention of law enforcement and legislatures throughout the state of Florida. In fact, Florida’s laws make voyeurism a crime with or without the use of devices that can record, transmit or store images of another person. Defined as non-consensually observing someone in a private space, voyeurism laws have been set in place to safeguard a person’s right to privacy, especially while at home or in certain locations like locker rooms, tanning beds and bathroom stalls.
In the past, a first-time voyeurism conviction was a misdemeanor carrying consequences of up to a maximum of one year in jail and a fine of no more than $1,000. Once the new law takes effect, the crime of voyeurism will be classified as a third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and a maximum fine of $5,000.
If you have been accused of voyeurism, it is essential to start building a defense immediately. By not taking these charges seriously, you may end up making mistakes that could later interfere with your defense. The consequences associated with a conviction are severe, and in certain cases, may include registration as a sex offender.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for voyeurism in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys online or call us statewide and toll-free at 866-608-5529.