Have you been accused of spying on someone in Texas?
Have you been accused of spying on someone else with sexual intent? If so, that could be against the law in Texas. In these situations, police may have the ability to arrest you and charge you with a crime that carries harsh penalties, even if you’re confident you didn’t do anything wrong. Hiring a voyeurism defense attorney could be critical to protecting your rights moving forward.
At the Law Office of Nathaniel Pitoniak, we work with clients facing a wide range of criminal charges. Nathaniel Pitoniak will work closely with you to better understand what charges you are facing. He’ll then aggressively defend you with a legal strategy to address your case.
What is voyeurism?
Voyeurism is a term used to describe the action of a person spying or watching another person without their consent in such a way as to have some type of sexual implication. Generally, to be considered voyeurism, the person is in some area where they feel they have privacy. This could be in a dressing room or a bedroom, for example.
Texas Laws on Voyeurism
Voyeurism is a serious charge in Texas. It falls under Penal Code Section §21.17, where it reads:
(a) A person commits an offense if the person, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the actor, observes another person without the other person’s consent while the other person is in a dwelling or structure in which the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
You may be charged with this if the prosecutor finds that you have met the elements described above. There is a lot of leeway in this law, and that can work against anyone who may be facing legal charges. This is one of the reasons why you should always have an experienced criminal lawyer on your side.
Keep in mind that, prior to 2015, Texas law assigned those who were charged with this crime a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. However, that’s changed, and new, restrictive, and significant penalties now apply, making it critically important that you seek out legal guidance if you are charged with these claims.
Penalties Under Texas Law for Voyeurism
The penalties for voyeurism in Texas will depend on the facts of the case. All are serious penalties you should defend against when possible.
If you are charged with a Class C misdemeanor, you could face a fine of up to $500. If you are charged with a Class B misdemeanor, that carries a jail time sentence of 6 months and a fine of up to $2,000, and is likely to occur if you have been charged with this crime more than one time. If you are convicted of this charge, and the victim was someone under the age of 14, you may be levied a State Jail Felony charge. You could also face fines of $10,000. This could also amount to as many as two years in prison.
It is important to know that it can be easy for the police to charge people with this type of crime. Because there are so many people with cameras nearby, it is easy to record others engaging in illegal activities. Even if you think you engaged in a minor act and meant no harm, it could have a long-term negative outcome on your life.
Common Questions About Voyeurism Charges in Texas
Is voyeurism the same as the Invasive Visual Recording law?
There are differences here. The Invasive Visual Recording law is a felony charge and typically involves the use of photographs, video, or other recordings of people when they are perceived to have privacy. Both are serious crimes with significant penalties.
If someone is engaging in a sexual act, is it illegal to watch?
This depends on the situation. For example, if someone is engaging in a sexual act in the privacy of their home, hotel room, or somewhere else where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy then you could potentially be charged with voyeurism.
How Attorney Nathaniel Pitoniak Can Help You Fight Voyeurism Charges
Voyeurism charges can lead to long-term punishment and, in some cases, have an implication on your criminal record for years to come. When you work with our defense attorney, you’ll gain insight and support into protecting your rights.
To do that, our Houston voyeurism defense lawyer will work closely with you to:
- Gather all evidence in the case to understand what you are facing
- Create a defense strategy for you based on the evidence in the case
- Work to prove you did not violate the laws of the state
- Defend you in a court of law and with all questioning
- Provide you with support in reducing your charges or settling your case
It is not always possible to walk away from these charges, but our goal is to help ensure your rights remain protected. We work aggressively to defend our clients in cases like this because we understand the long-term consequences that follow a guilty verdict. Don’t wait to contact us – we are available 24/7 to help you.
Contact The Law Office of Nathaniel Pitoniak for a Free Consultation
If you need a voyeurism defense attorney, contact the Law Office of Nathaniel Pitoniak for immediate help. Our Houston-based law firm works to protect your rights and help you through even the most challenging of cases. Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.