Toronto Voyeurism Lawyer
Charges of voyeurism are humiliating and can ruin your career or personal reputation. They are often prosecuted as summary offences, however, if images, videos, or other media are used to record a minor for voyeuristic or sexual purposes, the charge may be prosecuted by way of indictment. Any voyeurism charge is severe, and you will need a strong defence from a lawyer who is knowledgeable in this area of law. Fighting for your reputation is a serious affair with no room for error, necessitating a strong defence from a firm like Karapancev Law. With offices in Toronto and Mississauga, we can provide you with a criminal defence overview and explain all of your legal options.
The definition of voyeurism is found in section 162 of the Criminal Code of Canada. If there is a “reasonable expectation of privacy” and you are caught secretly observing or recording someone who is naked and/or performing sexual acts, then you have broken the law.
Although it is impossible to specify every place where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists, such locations typically include:
- Public and private showers and restrooms
- Locker rooms
- Changing rooms in clothing stores
- Inside private homes
Being accused of voyeurism is a very difficult and often times humiliating experience. You may be prosecuted with voyeurism under the Criminal Code of Canada if you see or record someone who has a reasonable expectation of privacy. You’ve probably heard of a “Peeping Tom”, a person who hides outside a window to see the occupant in their bedroom. Other examples involve installing recording equipment in restrooms or peering via a “peephole.”
The law recognizes that certain situations and places, such as the washroom or the shower, require a reasonable expectation of privacy from others. The law also recognizes that it is reasonable to expect a person to be naked, exposed, or engaged in sexual conduct in such places and conditions.
Voyeurism is classified as a “hybrid” offence. This means that you could be charged in one of two ways: by summary conviction or by indictment. The Crown Prosecutor makes the choice on how to prosecute without the involvement of the Court. Several factors, such as the circumstances of the alleged crime and the age of the complainant, may influence the Prosecutor’s decision.
A summary offence is regarded to be less serious and is heard by a Provincial Court Judge at trial. On the other hand, indictable offences are considered to be more serious and therefore often carry higher sentences. The possible punishments available to you if you are convicted at trial or decide to plead guilty will be influenced by whether the offence was prosecuted by summary conviction or indictment.
It is in your best interest to retain a qualified Toronto criminal lawyer as quickly as possible, regardless of the activity involved in this case. An allegation that you installed a video camera somewhere does not necessarily indicate the prosecution has adequate evidence to convict you. Nonetheless, because the offence is a sex related crime, the Crown is likely to take the allegation seriously. Do not speak with the police before consulting with a lawyer. Alex Karapancev, a criminal defence lawyer, is well-versed in fighting voyeurism allegations and is aware of the key issues that arise in these cases.
Voyeurism Sentencing In Ontario
If the Crown elects to proceed by way of indictable offence, if found guilty of voyeurism you could face up to five years in jail . The Sexual Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) may also require you to register as a sex offender. Alternatively, if the Crown proceeds summarily, the maximum penalty is two years in prison. If the victim is under the age of 18, or if the criminal was in a position of trust with the victim, the Court considers these factors as aggravating elements in sentencing.
A Successful Defence
If you have been contacted by police officers in Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, or elsewhere in Ontario regarding voyeurism allegations, contact criminal defence lawyer Alex Karapancev immediately. Voyeurism cases can begin in a variety of ways, such as when someone reports unusual behaviour to police or when someone believes that they have been secretly recorded. In either situation, you will need a criminal defence attorney who is familiar with how these cases are prosecuted and what defences exist.