Florida Appeals Court Hears Video Voyeurism Case

There are many types of sex crimes under Florida law. One of those is video voyeurism. Video voyeurism is when someone secretly records another person in an intimate state, generally for the sexual gratification purposes. Your skilled St. Petersburg sex crimes criminal defense attorney can help you understand what the potential penalties may be for a video voyeurism conviction.

Requirements for a Video Voyeurism Conviction

Like all criminal laws, the prosecution must prove that the defendant’s actions met all the elements of the statute in order to get a conviction. In order to prove that the defendant committed video voyeurism, one thing the prosecution must show is that the offense was committed with the aid of an imaging device. It also requires that the defendant intentionally used the imaging device to secretly view someone taking off their clothes or privately exposing their body in a place where the person being recorded had a reasonable expectation of privacy. It is also video voyeurism when a defendant uses a recording device to took under or through someone’s clothes.

Video Voyeurism and Evidence

In order to prove that a defendant is guilty of video voyeurism, like with all other charges, the prosecution must use evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, there are specific laws that police and the court must follow in order for evidence to be admissible at trial. If evidence is obtained illegally, it is not permitted to be shown to the jury. A case recently heard by the Florida Second District Court of Appeal, the court looked at video evidence in a video voyeurism case.

Inevitable Discovery

Generally, law enforcement is allowed to search the personal property of a defendant when there is consent or a search warrant. In this case, the police were called to the home of a woman after she found inappropriate videos of her adult daughter on her husband’s computer that were taken with hidden cameras. When the officers arrived she told them they could search the laptop, but that it was her husband’s. They considered filing a warrant but did not begin to request one. The police then found the videos on the laptop.

At trial, the defendant moved to suppress the evidence. He argued that the search was bad because they did not have a warrant or consent to the search of the laptop. The court agreed but decided that the evidence was allowed in under the inevitable discovery doctrine. Broadly, the doctrine allows evidence that was discovered during a bad search to be considered by the jury when the police would have discovered the evidence anyway. However, the appeals court in this case reversed the decision and said that it was not an applicable use of inevitable discovery.

Specifically, Florida interprets this doctrine to require two things. Along with the requirement that the evidence would have been discovered inevitably by legal means, the police must have already been in pursuit of the warrant. Here, the court noted that the police had not begun the warrant application when the search took place thus the inevitable discovery doctrine did not apply. The conviction was reversed and the case was remanded for a new trial.

Contact an Experienced St. Petersburg Sex Crimes Criminal Defense Attorney Today!

As this case shows, it is incredibly important to have an experienced and skilled sex crimes attorney on your side. The St. Petersburg sex crimes defense attorneys at Hanlon Law Firm defend clients charged with sex crimes or other crimes. Contact us online or call our offices at (727) 897-5413 to speak with our skilled attorneys about your case.

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