A conviction of voyeurism is a serious matter with long-range consequences to your future. You face the loss of your personal and professional reputation as well as incarceration, fines, and other penalties. If you are facing a voyeurism charge, you need skilled and experienced representation in the area of sex crimes. Our team at Luftman, Heck & Associates led by Columbus sex crimes attorney Ben Luftman knows what’s at stake for you. Using our considerable resources, we can fight to have your charges reduced or altogether eliminated.
Call us today at (614) 500-3836 for a free initial consultation about your situation.
What is Voyeurism in Ohio?
According to the Ohio Revised Code 2907.08, voyeurism is the invasion of another person’s privacy for the purpose of surreptitiously eavesdropping, spying, filming or recording that person in order to achieve some type of sexual gratification or arousal. This may include, for example, peeping in someone’s window or purposefully filming someone who is unaware.
In order to achieve a conviction of voyeurism, the state must prove that you had specific intent. The prosecutor must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed this action for the specific purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying yourself. This standard must be met and may be challenging to prove if the facts of the case cast doubt on the charge.
Important Ohio Statute Definitions
The Ohio Statute speaks of the offender “surreptitiously” invading the privacy of or videotaping, filming or photographing another. So as defined, voyeurism is something that is done in a sly, secret, stealthy, or hidden manner.
The term “invasion of privacy” refers to the exploitation of or intrusion into the personal or personal affairs, space or activities of another.
Voyeurism Charges and Penalties
If charged, the facts of your case will determine the penalty you face. Most often, voyeurism is charged as a misdemeanor. However, depending on the nature of your offense and the circumstances surrounding it, you could face a fifth-degree felony charge that carries with it a 12-month prison sentence and/or a maximum fine of $2,500.
- Third Degree Misdemeanor – This involves spying or eavesdropping in order to sexually gratify one’s own person and carries a 60-day maximum jail sentence.
- Second Degree Misdemeanor – This involves videotaping, filming, or recording in some way another person in a state of nudity and carries a 90-day maximum jail sentence.
- First Degree Misdemeanor – This involves surreptitiously recording another person underneath or through their clothing and carries a six-month maximum jail sentence.
- Fifth Degree Felony – This involves videotaping, filming, recording, or spying or eavesdropping upon another person who is a minor in a state of nudity and carries a 12-month maximum jail sentence.
Sex Offender Registration
Although charged as a misdemeanor in most cases, a conviction of voyeurism carries with it additional consequences beyond the potential fines and jail time. Under Ohio law, the act is designated at a “Sexually Oriented Offense,” and there obligates you as the offender to adhere to the state’s sexual offender registration and notification requirements.
As a Tier I offense in Ohio, a conviction of voyeurism mandates you to register with the state as a sex offender for 15 years if you were an adult and 10 years if you were a juvenile at the time of the offense. You will need to visit the county sheriff’s office annually for an in-person verification. As well, you may be restricted on where you can live and be forced to comply with other notification requirements if you plan to move to another location for more than three days.
Our Columbus Sex Crimes Attorneys Can Help
Each case of voyeurism is unique in terms of the evidence and circumstances surrounding the events. You should have you case thoroughly analyzed and evaluated in order to determine how to best proceed with your defense.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, our team will employ an intelligent and vigorous defense on your behalf as we seek out any possible flaws in the charges placed against you. Our Columbus sex crimes attorney will work to minimize or overturn these charges against you by examining how the evidence was obtained and any other factors that are in your favor.