FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND VOYEURISM CHARGES IN BRAMPTON. 416-DEFENCE.
Being charged with a criminal offence can be a scary and confusing experience. Many serious consequences may result from a criminal conviction and the negative repercussions of a criminal record can affect many areas of an individual’s life. Being charged with Voyeurism in Peel Region can lead to serious consequences. Our Firm has experience assisting clients who have been charged with voyeurism in Brampton and have successfully negotiated favourable outcomes for our clients.
As outlined in section 162(1) of the Criminal Code, an individual commits the offence of voyeurism when they surreptitiously observe, including by mechanical or electronic means, or makes a visual recording of a person who is in circumstances that would give rise to reasonable expectation of privacy or is engaging in sexual activity if the person is in a place in which a person can reasonably be expected to be nude, to expose their genitals, anal area or breasts or be engaging in sexual activity, or if the person is nude, exposing their genitals, anal area or breasts, and the observation or recording is done for the purpose of observing or recording a person in such a state or engaged in such an activity, or the observation or recording is done for a sexual purpose.
A common example of voyeurism in Brampton is an individual peeping into or recording the inside of a changeroom or bathroom. Another common example of voyeurism in Brampton is individual’s recording up women’s skirts in public places or on public transit. Courts have even found individual’s guilty of voyeurism for taking screenshots of a nude complainant while on a video chat.
The Firm regularly defends individuals who are alleged to have recorded people in private settings, for a sexual purpose. In some situations, accused are alleged to have recorded people in public settings in a location where an individual would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. A common example of this is an accused recording another individual in a change room or using a smart phone to surreptitiously record up an individual’s skirt in public.
In October 2019, after a year of litigation, the Firm resolved a voyeurism charge in Peel Region without a criminal record in R. v. I.B. . In that case, the accused allegedly used a smartphone to record up the skirt of a woman in a Dollarama store. In 2018, the Firm defended allegations of a sophisticated scheme to surreptitiously record women over several days at the Toronto Fan Expo in R. v. R.J. . The case was resolved without a criminal record.
In 2017, the Firm secured the judicial interim release of an individual accused of recording underage family members in the bathroom. The individual had been charged with making child pornography as a result. In 2015, the Firm secured the withdrawal of all charges where an accused posed as a Toronto nightclub owner to solicit nude photos from women in R. v. J.R. .
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is Voyeurism Considered a Sexual Offence?
How Does the Crown Prove Voyeurism in Brampton?
How to Defend Voyeurism Charges in Brampton?
What are the Possible Penalties for Voyeurism in Peel?
-Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA).
What Other Consequences may Result from a Voyeurism Conviction in Brampton?
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
Is Voyeurism Considered a Sexual Offence?
Yes. Voyeurism is listed under Part V of the Criminal Code, which contains all sexual offences. Though voyeurism is considered a sexual offence, it is also a privacy offence and meant to protect people’s privacy even while they are in public places.
How Does the Crown Prove Voyeurism in Brampton?
To prove the offence of voyeurism and secure a conviction in Brampton, the Crown must prove each element of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition to proving the identity, date and time and location of the offence, the Crown must prove that the accused surreptitiously observed or recorded the complainant. Additionally, the Crown must prove that the complainant was in a place or circumstance where they would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The Crown must show that the complainant was in a place where a person can reasonably be expected to expose their genitals, breasts or anal region or be engaging in sexual activity. The Crown must prove that the accused surreptitiously observed or recorded with the intent to observe or record, or for a sexual purpose.
How to Defend Voyeurism Charges in Brampton
Voyeurism is considered a sexual offence and as a result is prosecuted quite harshly in Brampton and other jurisdictions throughout Ontario. Crowns are often reluctant to agree to favourable plea deals and often request harsher penalties for those convicted. As a result, it is important to consult experienced legal counsel immediately upon being charged.
As with any criminal offence, the best defence will depend largely on the facts and circumstances of the case. Some defences commonly used in voyeurism cases in Brampton include arguing the observation or recording was not done for a sexual purpose and arguing that the complainant had no reasonable expectation of privacy.
An individual charged with voyeurism may argue that their observation or recording was not done for a sexual purpose. For example, if an individual was accused of watching another individual on a beach and charged with voyeurism, they may argue that they had another, legitimate, purpose for observing or recording. Alternatively, an individual charged with voyeurism may also argue that the complainant did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the location or circumstance they were in at the time they were observed or recorded. In a recent 2019 case, an Ontario judge acquitted an individual charged with voyeurism after he was caught recording another individual on a nude beach. The accused did not attempt to hide the fact that he was recording the complainant, and the complainant had voluntarily disrobed. The judge reasoned that because the accused was not secretly recording the individual, they were not guilty of the offence of voyeurism.
What are the Possible Penalties for Voyeurism in Brampton?
Voyeurism is considered a sexual offence. As a result of this, Crowns, especially in Peel Region, prosecute these offences vigorously and are more reluctant to agree to plea deals favourable to defendants. Voyeurism is considered a hybrid offence, meaning Crowns have a great deal of discretion regarding the sentencing range available to the judge upon conviction.
In less serious cases, the Crown will elect to proceed summarily. In these cases, the maximum penalty that may be imposed on the accused is six months’ imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine. In more serious cases, the Crown will elect to proceed by indictment. In these cases, the maximum penalty that may be imposed on the accused is five years’ imprisonment. When determining a fair sentence within the sentencing range, the judge will consider all relevant aggravating and mitigating factors. Some examples include the accused’s criminal history, the age of the accused, the age of the complainant, personal characteristics and background of the accused and complainant, the circumstances leading up to the offence and the severity of the offence committed.
Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA)
Those convicted of voyeurism may be ordered to register as a sex offender for a period of time as prescribed by the Court. The Sex Offender Registration Act (SOIRA) is Canada’s Federal sex offender registry. If the Crown can prove that the accused committed the offence of voyeurism with the intent to commit one of the designated offences listed in section 490.012 of the Criminal Code, the Court will issue a SOIRA order, requiring the offender to register. The designated offences include; sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, sexual exploitation, incent, child pornography, exposure, sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm or aggravated sexual assault.
What Other Consequences May Result from a Voyeurism Conviction in Brampton?
In addition to the criminal consequences that will result from a voyeurism conviction, many other aspects of an accused’s life may be affected. Those charged with voyeurism may be terminated from their place of employment. This is especially true for those dealing with vulnerable populations or those with professional jobs such as doctors or teachers. A criminal record may also make it difficult for individuals to gain employment in the future. Those convicted of voyeurism will be effectively barred from volunteering or working with children and many other vulnerable populations. Travel outside of Canada may also be impacted by a criminal record. Many counties, especially the United States, ban individuals with criminal records from entering their borders. It is also common for the police to self-publish charges of voyeurism, or report them to the media, often releasing the name and a photograph of the accused. This can severely damage the reputation of even an innocent individual.
If you have been charged with voyeurism in Brampton, our Firm can assist you in navigating the court process and formulating the best defence for your case. We have experience defending clients charged with voyeurism in Brampton and regularly achieve favourable outcomes for our clients.
What is Voyeurism?
A person is guilty of the offence of voyeurism when they surreptitiously observe or record another person in a situation where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, or is exposing their genitals, breasts, anal region, or engaging in sexual activity, or where a person can reasonably be expected to be exposing their genitals, breasts, anal region, or engaging in sexual activity, or if the recording or observation is done for a sexual purpose.
Is Voyeurism a Sex Offence?
Yes. Voyeurism is considered a sexual offence in Canada and is prosecuted vigorously. Though there is no physical contact between the accused and the complainant voyeurism is nonetheless seen as a serious offence. An individual who is convicted of voyeurism may be required to register as a sex offender.
What is the most Common Type of Voyeurism?
The most common type of voyeurism in Brampton and many other parts of Ontario is scenarios where an individual uses a smartphone to surreptitiously record other individuals on public transit or in other crowded areas. For example, a person who uses their smartphone to record up the skirt of another person on the bus would be guilty of voyeurism.
How do People Commit Voyeurism?
There are many different ways that an individual can commit the offence of voyeurism. One of the most common ways is for an individual to use their smartphone to record up the skirt of another individual in a crowded public place or on public transit. Another example would be an individual installing a hidden camera with remote capabilities in their home and then renting the house out on air bnb.
How to Defend Voyeurism Charges?
Voyeurism charges can be difficult to defend especially when the police seize the recording device that was used and have the video footage as evidence. Experienced counsel can help you formulate the best defence based on the facts of your case.
Will I get a Criminal Record for Voyeurism?
In Canada, voyeurism is considered a sexual offence and as a result is prosecuted more aggressively than other offences. In the majority of cases the Crown will advocate for the accused to receive a criminal record and even jail time. With the correct strategy, it is sometimes possible to resolve voyeurism charges without jail time and a criminal record.