California makes use of a pair of “Peeping Tom” laws:
- California Penal Code Section 647(i): Peeking While Loitering
- California Penal Code Section 647(j): Invasion of Privacy
These laws forbid individuals from peeking into other people’s homes or otherwise invading their privacy. Both of these acts are considered misdemeanors and they can lead to serious legal penalties if an individual is convicted.
The Simmrin Law Group can provide you with professional advice if you are facing accusations for peeking while loitering. You can contact us today to get immediate answers about your options for handling these charges.
Understanding PC 647(i): Peeking While Loitering
An individual must take several specific steps in order to be convicted under PC 647(i). You could face charges for peeking if you trespassed into another person’s private property without lawful reason and:
- Peeked into an Inhabited Structure Through a Window
- Peeked into an Inhabited Structure Through a Door
Individuals can be charged with peeking while loitering even if no one is at home when they peek. Any building used as a residence can be considered an inhabited structure under PC 647(i).
Note that you may face charges for invasion of privacy if you:
- Use Tools like Binoculars or Telescopes to Peek
- Photograph or Record Someone in Private Areas
Invasion of privacy is also considered a misdemeanor in Los Angeles and it carries serious legal repercussions.
Peeking While Loitering and Criminal Penalties
PC 647(i) is considered a criminal misdemeanor offense. Individuals convicted of peeking while loitering can be fined up to $1,000. A peeking while loitering conviction can also lead to 6 months of jail time.
Depending on your situation, you may be offered misdemeanor probation in place of a jail sentence. Individuals placed on misdemeanor probation generally have to:
- Pay Restitution to Victims
- Report Progress to the Court
These penalties are often considered part of the conditions governing probation. The court has the right to revoke probation if these conditions are not adhered to properly.
You will not have to register as a sex offender if you are convicted of peeking while loitering. However, the conviction will still appear on your record, which can make it difficult to secure certain jobs and housing.
Possible Defenses for Peeking While Loitering Charges
Individuals accused of peeking while loitering will have the best chance of beating their charges if they contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer immediately. Building a solid defense for peeking while loitering could involve proving:
You Weren’t Loitering
Standing around idly on someone else’s property qualifies as loitering. If you are falsely accused of loitering, you may not be convicted under PC 647(i).
You Had a Reason to Be on Someone’s Property
PC 647(i) allows people to bring criminal charges against you if you enter their property for no lawful reason. Your lawyer could argue that you had a purpose for entering the property.
You Weren’t on Private Property
There are instances where someone is accused of peeking while loitering without entering private property. You should not be convicted under PC 647(i) if this is the case.
You Didn’t Look into an Inhabited Building
Individuals must be currently living in a structure for it to be considered inhabited. If you peeked into an uninhabited building you should not face a peeking while loitering conviction.
Your criminal defense lawyer may be able to you handle plea bargains offered by the prosecution after a peeking while loitering charge. You could also get the help you need handling courtroom arguments by contacting the Simmrin Law Group immediately.
Get Help Dealing with Peeking While Loitering Charges
You can end up in serious legal trouble if you are charged under California Penal Code Section 647(i): Peeking While Loitering. Individuals who get professional help right away will have the best chances for beating this criminal charge. You can reach out to Simmrin Law Group to get legal advice about your situation. Complete our online contact form or call (310) 997- 4688 to learn more about how we can help.
You can reach out to us right now for a FREE consultation regarding your legal options for handling a peeking while loitering charge.