Video Voyeurism in Florida
Video Voyeurism is a crime in Florida. It is generally classified as a felony offense under the Florida Statute for Video Voyeurism, § 810.145 (2022). The consequences of a conviction for video voyeurism can include a jail or prison sentence.
The minimum and maximum sentences and punishments for video voyeurism will depend on the circumstances of the crime. These include a person’s age at the time of committing the offense, having prior convictions for video voyeurism, and whether the offense was committed against a child.
More information on video voyeurism charges in Florida, including punishments, outcomes, and defenses can found below.
If you have been charged with video voyeurism, it is important to get the information you need to know about your specific charges so that you can make informed decisions going forward.
Video Voyeurism Lawyer Tampa Bay
The consequences of being convicted of video voyeurism can be serious. If you have been accused of a crime, it is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer that you trust to protect your rights, provide assistance in navigating the court process, and to help you achieve the best result possible depending on the specific facts of your case.
Attorney Chris Beardslee is an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer serving the Tampa Bay area. He is dedicated to not only providing the best legal advice and defense for your case, but also to making sure that you are informed about the process and your legal options along the way.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your case or any current charges, our office is happy to help.
Contact The Law Office of Chris Beardslee for a free case consultation today. Call 813-496-7778, or fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you.
What is Video Voyeurism in Florida?
The crime of video voyeurism is different than voyeurism in that it involves observing or recording another person with an imaging device.
Florida Statute § 810.145 identifies three different offenses that fall under the umbrella of video voyeurism:
Video Voyeurism – Definition, Offense
The crime of video voyeurism generally occurs when a person is secretly recorded without consent while he or she is in private and exposed, for the gratification of another person.
Under Florida Statute § 810.145(2), the offense of video voyeurism is committed when a person:
- For his or her own amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing another person, intentionally uses or installs an imaging device to secretly view, broadcast, or record a person, without that person’s knowledge and consent, who is dressing, undressing, or privately exposing the body, at a place and time when that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy;
- For the amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit of another, or on behalf of another, intentionally permits the use or installation of an imaging device to secretly view, broadcast, or record a person, without that person’s knowledge and consent, who is dressing, undressing, or privately exposing the body, at a place and time when that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy; OR
- For the amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit of oneself or another, or on behalf of oneself or another, intentionally uses an imaging device to secretly view, broadcast, or record under or through the clothing being worn by another person, without that person’s knowledge and consent, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that person.
Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
In the context of video voyeurism, a reasonable expectation of privacy means when a reasonable person would believe that he or she could fully disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that the person’s undressing was being viewed, recorded, or broadcasted by another.
Examples of places where someone could have a reasonable expectation of privacy:
- Interior of a residential dwelling
- Changing room
- Fitting room
- Dressing room
- Tanning booth
Broadcast means electronically transmitting a visual image with the intent that it be viewed by another person.
Imaging device means any mechanical, digital, or electronic viewing device; still camera; camcorder; motion picture camera; or any other instrument, equipment, or format capable of recording, storing, or transmitting visual images of another person.
Privately exposing the body means exposing a sexual organ.
Video Voyeurism Dissemination
Under Florida Statute § 810.145(3), the offense of video voyeurism dissemination is committed when a person:
- Knowing or having reason to believe that an image was created in a manner described in this section, intentionally disseminates, distributes, or transfers the image to another person for the purpose of amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing another person.
Commercial Video Voyeurism Dissemination
Under Florida Statute § 810.145(4), the offense of commercial video voyeurism dissemination is committed when a person:
- Knowing or having reason to believe that an image was created in a manner described in this section, sells the image for consideration to another person; OR
- Having created the image in a manner described in this section, disseminates, distributes, or transfers the image to another person for that person to sell the image to others.
Exceptions to the Video Voyeurism Laws
The video voyeurism statute does not apply to surveillance or recording in of the following circumstances or there are exceptions:
Law Enforcement Surveillance
- Does not apply to a law enforcement agency conducting surveillance for a law enforcement purpose.
Provider of an Electronic Communication Service or Provider of a Remote Computing Service
- Does not apply to any dissemination, distribution, or transfer of images subject to this section by a provider of an electronic communication service, or a provider of a remote computing service.
- The exceptions to the definition of “electronic communication” do not apply, but are included within the definition of the term.
Security System with Written Notice
- Does not apply to a security system when a written notice is conspicuously posted on the premises stating that a video surveillance system has been installed for the purpose of security for the premises.
Obvious Video Surveillance Device
- Does not apply to a video surveillance device that is installed in such a manner that the presence of the device is clearly and immediately obvious.
Merchant Videotaping or Surveillance of Customers (§ 877.26, Florida Statutes)
- Notwithstanding the exceptions above, it is illegal for a merchant to directly observe or make use of video cameras or other visual surveillance devices to observe or record customers in the following areas if there is a reasonable expectation of privacy:
- Dressing room,
- Fitting room,
- Changing room, or
- However, a merchant may directly observe a customer from outside such room if the observation is within the scope of the merchant’s duties and the observation does not otherwise violate the voyeurism or video voyeurism statutes, OR if the customer consents to the presence of the merchant in the room.
- A merchant recording or observing a customer in violation of this statute commits a first degree misdemeanor.
Punishments and Sentences for Video Voyeurism
In Florida, the punishment for committing any violation of video voyeurism statute depends on the circumstances of the crime. The age of the offender, the age of the victim, and prior convictions for video voyeurism offenses are all factors that can affect the severity of the charge and maximum sentence upon conviction.
Offender Under the Age of 19
A person who is under 19 years old and who commits any crime of video voyeurism, commits a:
- First degree misdemeanor
- Sentence of up to 1 year in jail
- Up to a $1,000 fine
Offender Over the Age of 19
A person who is over 19 years old and commits any crime of video voyeurism, commits a:
- Third degree felony
- Sentence of up to 5 years in prison
- Up to a $5,000 fine
A person who commits an offense under the video voyeurism statute and who has previously been convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for any violation of video voyeurism commits a:
- Second degree felony
- Sentence of up to 15 years in prison
- Up to a $10,000 fine
A person has been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent if the violation resulted in a conviction sentenced separately, or an adjudication of delinquency entered separately, prior to the current offense.
Victim is a Child
In certain circumstances where video voyeurism is committed against a child, the severity of the offense is raised from a third degree felony to a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
A second degree felony has been committed when a person who is:
- 18 years of age or older who is responsible for the welfare of a child younger than 16 years of age, regardless of whether the person knows or has reason to know the age of the child, commits any offense under the video voyeurism statute against that child;
- 18 years of age or older who is employed at a private school, school, or a voluntary prekindergarten education program (as described in s. 1002.53(3)(a), (b), or (c)), commits any offense under the video voyeurism statute against a student of the school or program; OR
- 24 years of age or older commits any offense under the video voyeurism statute against a child younger than 16 years of age, regardless of whether the person knows or has reason to know the age of the child.
Defenses to Video Voyeurism Charges in Florida
The best defenses to a video voyeurism charge will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. Each person’s case will be different as will be the defenses available to them. If you have been accused of video voyeurism, it is important to discuss the facts of your case with your attorney.
Some possible defenses to video voyeurism include:
- No reasonable expectation of privacy
- No lewd, lascivious, or indecent intent
- Consent to the recording or observation
- Notice of security system surveillance properly posted
- Video surveillance device was clearly obvious