Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Federal Video Voyeurism Charges

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Federal Criminal Law » Federal Video Voyeurism Charges

The federal offense of Video Voyeurism is defined by 18 U.S.C. § 1801 as follows:


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(a) Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, has the intent to capture an image of a private area of an individual without their consent, and knowingly does so under circumstances in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(b) In this section—
(1) the term “capture”, with respect to an image, means to videotape, photograph, film, record by any means, or broadcast;
(2) the term “broadcast” means to electronically transmit a visual image with the intent that it be viewed by a person or persons;
(3) the term “a private area of the individual” means the naked or undergarment clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast of that individual;
(4) the term “female breast” means any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola; and
(5) the term “under circumstances in which that individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy” means—
(A) circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that he or she could disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that an image of a private area of the individual was being captured; or
(B) circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that a private area of the individual would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether that person is in a public or private place.

(c) This section does not prohibit any lawful law enforcement, correctional, or intelligence activity.


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In addition to the possible sentence of 1 year in jail, a person who is convicted of Federal Video Voyeurism charges may face civil lawsuit relating to the same alleged conduct.


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