Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification, located at C.R.S. 18-3-405.6, is a relatively new law. It is essentially Colorado’s Peeping Tom law and can be charged as a misdemeanor for a first offense, or as a felony for: 1) a second offense or 2) when the person observed is under fifteen years old. In this case, a felony is not warranted. In Adams and Arapahoe County, Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification is also a sexual offense and if convicted, you will have to register as a sex offener. Read here for more examples of Invasion of Privacy in Colorado.
This Crime is Not Serious Enough to be Labeled a Felony
There are many crimes where a person should be charged with a felony. Imagine crimes like kidnapping and sexual assault. Not too many people would disagree. But why should a Peeping Tom who looks in a window at someone, or a person who has a hole in a dressing room, be treated as a felon just because a child came in. Remember, there is no physical contact whatsoever which occurs in these cases. In most instances, the “victim” does not even know the crime occurred. In Denver and Jefferson County, we should reserve a felony conviction for crimes of violence or hands-on crimes. Watching someone undress, in a place where they had a “reasonable expectation of privacy,” is simply not serious enough to justify a felony conviction.
The Costs and Consequences of a Colorado Felony Conviction
With a felony conviction, men and women can’t find a job, can’t find housing, and are permanently scarred. Many will say “too bad” and “don’t commit the crime if you don’t want the penalty.” After twenty-five years as a criminal defense lawyer, I have learned that there are circumstances where men and women do stupid things without thinking. Imagine a young woman in Highlands Ranch who is walking by a male friend’s house late at night, sees a bedroom light on, and curiously peeks in the window to see if her friend is awake. Surprised, she sees her friend and a young lady (fourteen years old) romantically involved and decides to watch. Unknown to her, a neighbor calls police when seeing her walk toward the side of the house. Should this woman be labeled a sex offender and felon in Douglas and Morgan County for voyerism one night?
What are Lawmakers Thinking?
Colorado lawmakers have a tendency to make laws more harsh in order to show they are “tough on crime.” That way, they can tell their constituents they did something of value during their legislative term, and are worthy of reelection. What they don’t think of is the hidden cost of making more people felons, like: the cost to house them, public benefits to take care of kids whose parents can’t find a job, and unemployment costs. We don’t need more laws or tougher laws, especially for minor crimes like voyerism.
We are there for you if you are charged with Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification. We have the best criminal defense lawyers in Denver and across Colorado. Don’t try and handle a sexual offense like this by yourself. Come see us for a free consultation. Always remain silent and call us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.