Legislators in California created California Penal Code Section 647(j): Invasion of Privacy to protect citizens from the unlawful use of recording devices. PC 647(j) is considered a “Peeping Tom” law, along with California Penal Code Section 647(i): Peeking While Loitering.
PC 647(j) actually covers several different offenses, each representing a different violation of privacy. The penalties for invasion of privacy can include fines and jail time.
Understanding the legal definition of PC 647(j) can help you move forward if you have been accused of this act. Find out more about your legal options and possible defenses with the Simmrin Law Group.
Different PC 647(j): Invasion of Privacy Offenses
Individuals in Los Angeles can be charged with invasion of privacy under the following legal codes:
Penal Code 647(j)(1)
PC 647(j)(1) involves looking into an area where someone could reasonably expect privacy while using some kind of instrument. Examples of instruments that could be used to peek include:
- Mobile Phones
An individual must intend to invade another person’s privacy to be convicted under PC 647(j)(1).
Penal Code 647(j)(2)
California uses PC 647(j)(2) to prosecute individuals who film or record a victim’s:
This record must be made with some kind of concealed device, such as a camera or a camcorder. Records or videos are made through or under clothing, without the consent of the recorded individual. PC 647(j)(2) covers acts motivated by a desire to invade someone’s privacy or to stimulate sexual arousal.
Penal Code 647(j)(3)
The court can charge people under PC 647(j)(3) if they secretly film or record someone with a camera hidden in a private location. A victim could be recorded while partially or fully undressed for PC 647(j)(3) to apply. Private areas under PC 647(j)(3) can include:
- Tanning Booths
- Bedrooms and Bathrooms
- Changing, Dressing, or Fitting Rooms
The use of any type of photographic camera, motion picture camera, or hidden camcorder could lead to PC 647(j)(3) charges. Additionally, all of the following individuals could be charged under PC 647(j)(3):
- Employers or Employees
- Business Partners or Associates
- Cohabitants, Tenants, or Cotenants
Penal Code 647(j)(4)
PC 647(j)(4) applies if someone purposely spreads images of someone else’s intimate body parts, or images of a person taking part in any kind of sex act. The recorded individual must not consent to the distribution of these images for this charge to apply.
Results of a California Penal Code Section 647(j): Invasion of Privacy Conviction
Convictions for PC 647(j) can lead to harsh repercussions in the court of law. PC 647(j) is considered a misdemeanor in California. An initial conviction for invasion of privacy may result in:
- Jail Time: 6 Months
- Fines: $1,000
Individuals who are convicted of PC 647(j) more than once could be sentenced to:
- Jail Time: 1 Year
- Fines: $2,000
These penalties apply to:
- PC 647(j)(1)
- PC 647(j)(2)
- PC 647(j)(3)
- PC 647(j)(4)
Note that individuals may face additional charges if they trespassed into someone else’s property during an invasion of privacy. Any additional sex crimes that occurred after an invasion of privacy could also be punished in the Los Angeles court system.
Defending Against an Invasion of Privacy Charge
There are several possible legal defenses to PC 647(j). Individuals may argue that they accidentally took a photograph of another person, or that they only took photographs with the consent of another person. Additionally, in the case of PC 647(j)(4), individuals should not face criminal charges if they distributed sexual images when:
- Making a Report of Unlawful Activity
- Carrying Out a Lawful Public Proceeding
- Complying with a Court Order or Subpoena
Building a defense for a PC 647(j) charge takes time. Individuals will have the best chances of beating an invasion of privacy charge if they contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer right away.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Deal with PC 647(j)
A conviction under California Penal Code Section 647(j): Invasion of Privacy can change the course of your life forever. Make sure that you have the professional legal advice you need by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group today. Our team offers a FREE initial case evaluation so you can learn more about your options right away.
Call us at (310) 997- 4688 or complete our online contact form to start addressing invasion of privacy charges now.