A charge of invasion of privacy can have a serious effect on your life. The charge occurs when a person is accused of "peeping" on another person, or viewing materials made as a result of that invasion of privacy. If you are accused of this crime, your reputation, your finances, and your freedom are all at risk.
To defend your case and protect your constitutional rights, an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney can create a defense uniquely tailored to the facts of your case.
Philadelphia Invasion of Privacy Defense Attorney
With many years of experience working in different roles in the Pennsylvania justice system, Joseph Lento is a uniquely qualified Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney with a comprehensive knowledge of how the criminal justice system works, from start to finish.
If you have been charged with Invasion of Privacy in Philadelphia or the rest of Pennsylvania and need a comprehensive, customized defense, contact the attorneys at Lento Law Firm. Joseph Lento built his practice on the ideals of customer service and justice and he will fight for your rights and freedom. Call (215) 535-5353 today to schedule your free consultation and discover what Joseph Lento can do to clear your name.
Invasion of Privacy Charges in Pennsylvania
The offense of invasion of privacy is defined by 18 PA. CONS. STAT § 7507.1. A person commits this offense if he or she "for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, knowingly does any of the following:
(1) Views, photographs, videotapes, electronically depicts, films or otherwise records another person without that person's knowledge and consent while that person is in a state of full or partial nudity and is in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
(2) Photographs, videotapes, electronically depicts, films or otherwise records or personally views the intimate parts, whether or not covered by clothing, of another person without that person's knowledge and consent and which intimate parts that person does not intend to be visible by normal public observation.
(3) Transfers or transmits an image obtained in violation of paragraph (1) or (2) by live or recorded telephone message, electronic mail or the Internet or by any other transfer of the medium on which the image is stored."
Commonly called "voyeurism," this crime is sexual in nature and comes with significant stigma if you are convicted.
In many cases of invasion of privacy, a defendant may face several different violations, and therefore several separate charges, as a result of a single course of conduct. The law states that it a separate violation of the law occurs:
(1) for each victim of an offense under subsection (a) under the same or similar circumstances pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct whether at the same or different times; or
(2) if a person is a victim of an offense under subsection (a) on more than one occasion during a separate course of conduct either individually or otherwise.
This means that, for example, a webcam left in a bedroom that captures either multiple people, or multiple separate incidents could result in multiple charges, even though the camera may have only been placed one time. These separate violations have the potential of incurring their own separate penalties, which could be run concurrently (at the same time) or consecutively (one after the other). This puts you at significant risk of very severe criminal penalties.
Some important phrases are specifically defined by the law, including:
- "Full or partial nudity." Display of all or any part of the human genitals or pubic area or buttocks, or any part of the nipple of the breast of any female person, with less than a fully opaque covering.
- "Intimate part." Any part of:
- (1) the human genitals, pubic area or buttocks; and
- (2) the nipple of a female breast.
- "Photographs" or "films." Making any photograph, motion picture film, videotape or any other recording or transmission of the image of a person.
- "Place where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy." A location where a reasonable person would believe that he could disrobe in privacy without being concerned that his undressing was being viewed, photographed or filmed by another.
- "Views." Looking upon another person with the unaided eye or with any device designed or intended to improve visual acuity.
Penalties for Invasion of Privacy in Pennsylvania
A first-time offense of invasion of privacy is a misdemeanor of the third degree. If convicted, you face the following potential penalties:
- 6 months to a maximum of 1 year in prison
- a maximum possible fine of up to $2,500
If there is more than one violation of invasion of privacy, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree. If convicted, you face the following potential penalties:
- 1 year to 2 years in prison
- a maximum possible fine of up to $5,000
These charges are incredibly serious, and because multiple charges can come from one course of conduct, you face the risk of very long prison sentences if you do not defend your case.
How to Defend Your Case
With the help of an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer, you can tailor a legal defense to the unique facts of your case in order to best protect your rights. Some defense you may raise include, but are not limited to:
- the recording or photography was not for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person
- the person consented to the recording or viewing of the materials
- the material was never transmitted
- a person was not in a state of full or partial nudity
- only one violation occurred rather than many
- the law enforcement exception applies
- the recording did not occur in a place where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy
Consult a Pennsylvania Invasion of Privacy Attorney
If you or someone you care about faces a charge of invasion of privacy in Pennsylvania, an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney can fight for your rights. Joseph D. Lento has the years of experience necessary to protect your rights.
Call (888) 535-3686 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation of your case.