Defense Invasion Of Privacy Trespassing

9 Things You Should Know About “Peeping Tom” Laws

9 Things You Should Know About “Peeping Tom” Laws

It’s a crime for anybody who’s on another person’s property with out their consent to peek in or to view right into a window of an inhabited constructing or different construction to watch individuals who’re inside beneath Penal Code 647(i) PC.

Additionally it is illegal to invade another person’s privateness whereas being lawfully on property however whereas wanting by means of a gap or peephole to view somebody who has an inexpensive expectation of privateness or through the use of a tool reminiscent of binoculars or cameras to view or take pictures of others with the intent to invade their privateness. These prohibitions are discovered underneath Penal Code 647(j) PC.

In This Listing About Peeping Tom Laws We’ll Cowl:
  1. How Does The Prosecutor Show Peeking Whereas Loitering
  2. Penalties
  3. Authorized Defenses
  4. What Constitutes Invasion Of Privateness?
  5. Penalties For Invasion of Privateness
  6. Protection For PC 657(j)
  7. Authorized Defenses
  8. Expungement
  9. Our Attorneys

PC 647(i) & PC 647(J ) are also called the “peeping Tom” legal guidelines. Whereas most offenders are comparatively innocent people, the act punishes trespassers1 who’re invading the privateness of others who are sometimes making an attempt to take pleasure in an intimate second alone or with others.

To show that you simply violated PC 647(i), the DA should show past an inexpensive doubt every of the next parts of the offense:

  1. You wandered, delayed, prowled or lingered on the personal property of one other individual
  2. When you had no authority, consent or different lawful function to be on the property
  3. And seemed into, or peeked, right into a window or door of an inhabited construction or dwelling on that property
Component of Inhabited Dwelling or Construction

There isn’t a requirement that anybody be within the constructing or dwelling whenever you look or peek into it as long as it’s getting used for habitation.

Aspect of Wandering, Delaying, Prowling or Lingering

Nobody needs somebody on their property who is just not approved to be there. In case you understand you’re on another person’s property with out permission or authority, then you should depart instantly. In the event you stay, you’re trespassing. It isn’t loitering, delaying or lingering in case you are simply passing via and don’t cease and peek by way of a window or door. You may peek via whereas persevering with to stroll however this isn’t thought-about a violation beneath the code until you have been prowling with the aim of in search of open home windows or doorways to see into. Wandering is the act of strolling round personal property with no obvious intent or try to go away.

Aspect of Illegal Objective

Being on personal property with out consent might be accidentally however an inexpensive individual would perceive the distinction between private and non-private property. You needn’t have been on personal property with the intention of peeking or doing something illegal although your presence there’s trespassing since you haven’t any purpose to be on the property or premises.

When you are there, nevertheless, and also you determine to cease and look by way of a window or door simply to see what’s inside, you’re in violation of PC 647(i).


A violation of PC 647(i) is all the time a misdemeanor. A primary offense carries a penalty of not more than 6 months in county jail and/or a high-quality of as much as $1000.

A subsequent offense, although additionally a misdemeanor, carries as much as one yr in county jail and/or a advantageous as much as $20002. This additionally applies when you have been peeking in on or invading the privateness of a minor3.

Most offenders are positioned on abstract or casual probation and don’t serve any county jail time. The sentencing decide, nevertheless, can require that you simply seem in courtroom at occasions throughout your probation to provide updates relating to your employment or dwelling state of affairs. You will probably be ordered to keep away from the property the place the offense occurred in addition to to not commit this offense anyplace else.

Authorized Defenses

There are all the time defenses that may be raised to any alleged legal protection. For this crime, the defenses embrace:

No Proof of Peeking

You should have been seen peeking or wanting into the window or door of an inhabited residence, dwelling or constructing. In case you are caught wandering or loitering on personal property and even hiding in a tree or bushes, that’s inadequate with out extra proof to convict you beneath this code part.

You have been on Public Property

You should be on personal property as a component of this offense. Peeking via the window of an condo or different inhabited construction whereas standing or being on public property, or your personal property, just isn’t illegal. If an individual’s condo abuts a public sidewalk and the window isn’t shaded or is open, wanting into it isn’t an invasion of privateness underneath this regulation.

You weren’t Loitering, Lingering, Prowling or Wandering

For those who have been passing via on personal property and occurred upon an open door or glanced right into a window however with out delaying or lingering, then you haven’t peeked whereas loitering, lingering or wandering. If accused of wandering, you’ll have been misplaced and have been looking for your approach off the property and seemed via an open door or right into a window whereas passing via.

Your Function or Being on the Property Was Lawful

For those who have been invited on the property, doing work as a contractor or are a meter reader or surveyor and approved to be there, then your objective for being on personal property is lawful.

The Construction was Uninhabited

You can’t be convicted of peeking into an deserted constructing or former inhabited dwelling the place it’s clear nobody resides there or is being lived in by squatters or homeless individuals4.

What Constitutes Invasion Of Privateness Underneath Penal Code 647(j)

It’s a legal offense underneath PC 647(j)(1) to view somebody via a small opening into one other room with the intent to invade that individual’s privateness. The weather of this offense embrace:

  1. You appeared or seen via a small opening
  2. Into one other room or its inside
  3. To watch one other one that has an inexpensive expectation of privateness
  4. By means of a tool or instrumentality to help within the remark, and
  5. With the intent to invade the privateness of that individual

These rooms or their interiors include5:

  • Loos
  • Dressing rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Tanning cubicles
  • Anyplace else the place there’s a affordable expectation of privateness

Units or instrumentalities include6:

  • Telescope
  • Periscope
  • Camcorder
  • Cellphone digital camera
  • Binoculars
  • Video digital camera
  • Different digital camera

This code part has a selected provision at PC 647(j)(2) focused at these people who:

  1. Surreptitiously photograph in any approach or secretly videotape or report one other individual
  2. Underneath or by means of the garments of that individual
  3. With the intent to view the undergarments of that individual with out that individual’s consent
  4. And with the intent to fulfill, arouse or attraction to your lust or sexual wishes and invade that individual’s privateness
  5. In a spot through which that individual has an inexpensive expectation of privateness

Beneath PC 647(j)(three), it’s illegal to:

  1. Use such cameras or video recording units in a personal room
  2. To photograph or videotape one other one that is nude or partially nude
  3. Or for the aim of viewing that individual’s undergarments
  4. With out the person’s consent
  5. And who’s within the inside of a room similar to a bed room, dressing or altering room or toilet
  6. With the intent to invade that individual’s privateness

In any of those situations, you might have a lawful proper to be on that property.

Penalties For Invasion of Privateness

A violation of PC 647(j) is a misdemeanor. The penalties are the identical as these for a violation of PC 647(i):

  • As much as 6 months in county jail
  • A fantastic as much as $10007
  • Abstract probation could be imposed somewhat than jail8
  • Periodic courtroom appearances if required to take part in counseling

A second or subsequent offense is county jail time of as much as one yr and/or a high-quality as much as $2000. This sentence additionally applies to first offenders if the individual being seen is a minor.

Authorized Defenses For PC 647(j)

Defenses to penal code 647(i) & PC 647(j) give attention to whether or not there’s enough proof beneath any of the weather of the crime.

No Affordable Expectation of Privateness

An individual doesn’t all the time have an inexpensive expectation of privateness no matter what they are saying. In case you are in a public space sporting revealing clothes or nothing in any respect, you possibly can hardly anticipate individuals to not observe you.

No Intent to Invade One other Individual’s Privateness

Invading one other particular person’s privateness additionally entails doing so to fulfill a sexual want or to attraction to or arouse your lust or passions. In case you achieve this for another objective, resembling to see if this individual was stealing one thing, then there’s a affordable various rationalization that have to be accepted by the trier of reality.

There was Consent

Couples do make intercourse tapes for their very own viewing however doing so obviates your later rivalry that you simply didn’t consent to being photographed or taped. Additionally, somebody who purposely undresses or clothes in public view and is conscious that she or he might simply be noticed has given constructive consent to being photographed.

Associated Offenses

  • California Penal Code 602 PC – Trespassing – Discover out the penalties and defenses for trespassing in Calfornia.
  • California Penal Code 594 PC – Vandalism – Perceive the weather of California’s vandalism regulation.
  • California Penal Code 273.6  PC – Violating A Restraining Order – Study About California’s legal guidelines on violating a restraining order.

Subsequent Steps If You Want Assist

In case you have been arrested as a “peeping tom’ or for invasion of privateness and want to study extra about how attorneys cost.

If you wish to perceive why its necessary to have an lawyer symbolize you.

If you need to debate a pending case underneath pC 647(i) or PC 647(j) with an lawyer contact the Aizman Regulation Agency at 818-351-9555 for a free confidential session.

Request A Free Session 818-351-9555 


  1. See California Penal Code 602 laptop – Trespassing
  2. Penal Code 647(l)(1) PC: – A second or subsequent violation of subdivision (j) is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one yr, or by a fantastic not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by each that wonderful and imprisonment.”
  3. Californai Penal Code 647(l)(2) PC – If the sufferer of a violation of subdivision (j) was a minor on the time of the offense, the violation is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one yr, or by a fantastic not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by each that advantageous and imprisonment.
  4. Inhabitation Defined. See Pen. Code, § 459.
  5. California Penal Code 647(J)(three)(A) PC – An individual who makes use of a hid camcorder, movement image digital camera, or photographic digital camera of any sort, to secretly videotape, movie, photograph, or document by digital means, one other, identifiable one that could also be in a state of full or partial undress, for the aim of viewing the physique of, or the undergarments worn by, that different individual, with out the consent or information of that different individual, within the inside of a bed room, toilet, altering room, becoming room, dressing room, or tanning sales space, or the inside of another space by which that different individual has an inexpensive expectation of privateness, with the intent to invade the privateness of that different individual.
  6. California Penal Code 647(j)(1) PC – An individual who seems by way of a gap or opening, into, or in any other case views, by the use of any instrumentality, together with, however not restricted to, a periscope, telescope, binoculars, digital camera, movement image digital camera, camcorder, or cell phone, the inside of a bed room, rest room, altering room, becoming room, dressing room, or tanning sales space, or the inside of some other space by which the occupant has an inexpensive expectation of privateness, with the intent to invade the privateness of an individual or individuals inside. This subdivision doesn’t apply to these areas of a personal enterprise used to rely foreign money or different negotiable devices.
  7. Penal Code 19 – Besides in instances the place a special punishment is prescribed by any regulation of this state, each offense declared to be a misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment within the county jail not exceeding six months, or by high quality not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by each.
  8. California Penal Code 1203

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