The law enforcement community sees sexual violence as a continuum that includes verbal harassment and any type of unwanted sexual contact. For this reasons, prosecutors believe that behaviors on one of the continuum, such as voyeurism, can quickly progress to much more serious offenses such as rape.
The term “voyeur” is defined in the The American Heritage Dictionary 1356 (2nd College Ed.1982) as a person who derives sexual gratification from observing the sex organs or sexual acts of others, especially from a secret vantage point.
Voyeurism crimes are treated seriously throughout Texas. If you are accused of this type of crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight your case at every stage.
Attorney for Voyeurism Crimes in San Antonio, TX
Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss the charges pending against you, the typical punishments imposed for that offense after a conviction, and some possible defenses that may be useful for your case.
Call (210) 226-1463 today.
Texas Law Prohibiting Voyeurism in Section 21.16
The sexual offenses in Chapter 21 define a number of forms of sexual offenses. Prior to the enactment of Section 21.16 on September 1, 2015, voyeurism was listed as a disorderly conduct offense, not a sexual offense. When enacting the
When enacting the voyeurism statute found in Section 21.16, the Texas Legislature established voyeurism as a sexual offense to better address the significance of the crime of voyeurism and may assist law enforcement agencies with catching and treating sexual offenders early in the continuum before they potentially commit more serious offenses.
Section 21.16 provides that a person commits the offense of voyeurism if the person does the following:
- with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the actor;
- observes another person without the other person’s consent;
- while the other person is in a dwelling or structure in which the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Penalties for Voyeurism in Section 21.16
Texas law provides for harsh penalties for the crime of voyeurism. Depending on how the crime was committed, the number of prior convictions, and how vulnerable the victim is, the crime can be charged as a Class C misdemeanor, a Class B misdemeanor, or a State Jail Felony.
Most crimes of voyeurism are charged as a Class C misdemeanor. The crime becomes a Class B misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial that the actor has previously been convicted two or more times of a similar offense. The crime of voyeurism is classified as a state jail felony if the victim was a child younger than 14 years of age at the time of the offense.
Finding a Lawyer for Voyeurism in Texas