Image Credit: Pixabay – geralt
Did you know that it is illegal to take photographs or video of someone when they have a “reasonable” expectation of privacy? And, that it can be a sex offense if done for the purpose of sexual gratification? In Denver, Douglas and Broomfield County, this law is intended to punish peeping toms. But what about putting a nanny cam in your home to see what you sitter is up to while you are away? That can also constitute criminal invasion of privacy if that area where the camera is posted is an area where the person would expect privacy.
Real-Life Example of this Crime in Colorado
Recently, I had a client charged with criminal invasion of privacy for doing just that… he wanted to see what was going on in the basement of his home, because he suspected that his live in help was using heroin. Unfortunately, the district attorney thought that even though the home was owned by my client – even though the alleged victim was a paid employee who was given room and board as a portion of her salary – a crime was committed.
Can Criminal Invasion of Privacy be a Sex Offense?
Criminal invasion of privacy may only be a class 2 misdemeanor in many cases, but it can also be a sexual offense if the prosecutor believes they can prove that it was done for purposes of sexual gratification. In the case discussed above, the nanny-cam was not placed in a common area of the home, but in the quarters where the nanny stayed. The district attorney believed that was proof of some sort of nefarious sexual motivation. Instead, the jury disagreed, because the camera was placed in an area where my client suspected the nanny was using drugs. In most of these cases, the defense centers on whether the expectation of privacy was reasonable under the circumstances. Surely, a heroin-abusing nanny who is a guest in the home should not be afforded the same privacy rights as when someone is photographed in their own home by someone outside the home. In this case, the real determination of reasonableness was done by the jury when the case proceeded to trial, and they acquitted my client.
You Need a Lawyer for Invasion of Privacy Charges
If you or a loved one is being accused of criminal invasion of privacy, take it seriously as it can affect your life for years to come. Even if it’s not the sexual offense, having a charge like this on your criminal history makes people think that you are a peeping tom. We have spent years defending people against charges like these in Arapahoe, Adams and Boulder County, and we can help you.