Voyeurism Law In Canada

May 26, 2022

Voyeurism Law In Canada

In the current era, many people find it hard to draw the line between what is acceptable in terms of ‘watching’ and invasion of privacy and violation of laws. In a world where every kind of information (including both good and bad) is freely available on the internet, many people mistakenly cross the boundaries in quest of fulfilling their secret fantasies.

However, these kinds of attempts may leave you entangled in highly embarrassing and image-ruining offense charges. Thus, you must know where to stop. Otherwise, you may unintentionally put your career, personal relationships, and reputation at stake. One of such offenses which are usually regarded as trivial by many people is voyeurism. In truth, voyeurism is a serious offense that can irreparably damage many aspects of your life.

Unlike what is portrayed in unethical movies, it is not okay to disrespect someone’s privacy for the sake of any kind of sexual intent. If you have unfortunately been charged with such an offense, request legal assistance from Edmonton’s most reputed criminal defense lawyers to get your life back on track.

At the same time, we believe it is imperative that you understand what constitutes voyeurism and its potential consequences to save yourself from facing such charges. For this reason, this blog post will discuss voyeurism in detail including its types, potential charges, and overall impacts on your life when you get convicted for voyeurism.

What Is Voyeurism?

According to the Canadian Department Of justice, voyeurism occurs when one person (person A) surreptitiously observes (through the naked eye or any electronic devices) or secretly makes a visual recording of another person (person B) who is in circumstances that give rise to reasonable expectations of privacy.

While you might have falsely believed that only a sexual assault can land you in trouble with the law, invasion of privacy in this way can be equally destructive to your work and personal life.

However, for you to be charged with voyeurism, the relevant authorities will have to investigate whether the grounds for voyeurism are present.

Let us take a deeper look into these factors

Surreptitious Observation

Let us take our earlier example of person A and person B to explain these grounds. The first circumstance that must be present is secret observation. If person A (the accused) secretly watches person B in a physical state which would reasonably necessitate privacy, the first ground for voyeurism will be met. It doesn’t matter if the observation was done through the naked eye or mechanical means.

For example, If person A peeps into person B’s bedroom as they undress or watch them take a shower from a window, the act will constitute voyeurism.

Secret Visual Recording

This point is closely related to the one above. Voyeurism is also proved if in addition to secret observation, person A also makes a recording or takes pictures of person B in circumstances where person B would expect privacy through a hidden camera, cell phone, or any other means.The Canadian Criminal Code defines ‘visual recording’ as any “photographic, film or video recording made by any means.”

For example, placing cameras in public or workplace bathrooms and recording the activities of the people who use them.

Reasonable Expectation Of Privacy

Lastly, one or a combination of the above must occur in a place or a situation in which any other individual in place of person B would reasonably expect privacy. According to the Supreme Court of Canada, an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy if they do not expect to be observed or recorded in a certain location or situation.

While it is easy to understand that bathrooms, changing rooms, toilets, or any area of a complainant’s personal property would give rise to reasonable expectation of privacy, other circumstances are hard to comprehend.

For instance, if person A is in an intimate relationship with person B and observes them in a sexually explicit condition over a video call, the act will not constitute voyeurism. However, taking a screenshot or recording the video and sharing it with others would be voyeurism. This is because the person reasonably expects you to not record anything.

Also Read: Canadian Law About Publishing An Intimate Image Without Consent

Consequences Of Voyeurism Charges

If you are convicted of voyeurism, you could face imprisonment of five years if the offense is indictable. The jail sentence can be reduced if it is a summary conviction. Regardless of the case, your profile will carry a discrediting criminal record.

In worst cases, your record may even land on the Sexual Offender Registery.

Let The Best Assault Lawyers Help You

From the above discussion, it is clear that you cannot leave your case in the hands of just any lawyer. Our team boasts years of experience in rescuing clients in Edmonton and surrounding areas from various charges including voyuerism and sexual assault. Learn more about Slaferek Law and our team’s expertise in criminal defense. Contact us now and ensure your peace of mind.

Preserve Your Rights By
Contacting Darin H. Slaferek

We specialize in criminal law, delivering ethical, effective, and efficient legal solutions that prioritize the best interests of our clients.