What Are Florida’s Peeping Tom Laws?
A Peeping Tom is a person who watches another individual without their consent or knowledge. In Florida, engaging in such behavior is a chargeable offense and a conviction could result in jail or prison time and fines. Peeping Tom offenses are governed by Florida’s statute on burglary and trespassing.
Under Statute 810.14, observing another person without their permission is referred to as voyeurism. It is illegal for an individual to look into a person’s home or other building where the person had expected to have privacy. This law also prohibits an individual from looking at another person’s “intimate areas” when the person is in a public space. The law defines an intimate area as “any portion of a person’s body or undergarments that is covered by clothing and intended to be protected to public view.”
The individual observing the other person must have had lustful or indecent intent to be charged with this offense. If they accidentally looked into a bedroom window or at a part of the other person’s body that was not clothed, they most likely were not violating this law.
For the first offense, violators can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
If the individual was convicted 2 or more times for this offense, they could be charged with a third-degree felony. A conviction could result in up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Voyeurism with a Video Camera
Florida law also prohibits a person from using a device that can record video or images to film or take pictures of someone without their intent while they are undressing in an area where they expected to have privacy. Under this statute, it is also illegal to distribute or sell voyeur images taken of the other person. The individual who recorded the other person must have done so for their own or someone else’s pleasure.
Whether this offense is charged as a misdemeanor or felony depends on the violator’s age. If the individual was under 19 years of age, they could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, which is penalized by up to 365 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. If the person is 19 years of age or older, they commit a third-degree felony offense, which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
The individual could be charged with a second-degree felony if they were previously convicted of video voyeurism. They could be penalized by up to 15 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
Contact Albaugh Law Firm for a Free Consultation
If you were charged with a voyeurism offense, our lawyers will work with you to develop a strategy for your unique circumstances. With over 70 years of collective legal experience, we know the law and the various defenses that can be brought up to fight charges.