How to Get Voyeurism Charges Dropped?

An individual is guilty of the offence of voyeurism when they secretly observe or record another individual without their permission, in a situation where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy if the individual being recorded is exposing their genitals, anus, breasts or is engaging in sexual activity, if the person being recorded is in a place where they can reasonably be expected to be nude or engaged in sexual activity and the recording is for a sexual purpose, or where the recording is done for a sexual purpose.

Due to the broad spectrum of acts that could be considered voyeurism, the sentences imposed on those convicted may vary significantly from one offender to the next. On the lowest end of the spectrum, the Crown may agree to withdrawal a voyeurism charge against an accused. In this case the criminal case against the accused is completed. On the other end of the spectrum, an accused charged with voyeurism could be convicted and sentenced to the maximum penalty of five years in prison.

In certain situations where the recording or observation was for a sexual purpose, the Crown may also make an application to the court to force the accused to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act.

Those convicted of voyeurism may face other adverse consequences in addition to the criminal sanctions imposed. Those with a criminal record, especially one for a sexually based offence like voyeurism, may face difficulties gaining employment or volunteering in certain fields including with children and other vulnerable populations. Individuals with a criminal record may also face difficulties traveling outside of Canada, especially to the United States.

If you have been charged with a voyeurism offence it is important to contact and consult with experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. Donich Law has experience defending individuals charged with voyeurism and other sexual offences. We combine litigation, risk management and negotiation skills to secure the best outcomes for our clients.

Having a complete understanding of the Elements of the Criminal Offence, Your Rights and the Consequences associated with a Criminal Record is necessary before any legal decisions are made. Click here for more information on new changes to child sex offence sentencing. Click here for more information on new changes to sexual assault laws in 2021 and how to defend voyeurism charges.

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Legal Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get my Voyeurism Charges Withdrawn?
Can I get a Discharge for my Voyeurism Charge?
What will Happen if I am Convicted of Voyeurism?

Sexual Assault Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Child Pornography Forensics
Children’s Aid Society
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Sex Offender Prohibition Orders
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
Your Rights

Can I get my Voyeurism Charges Withdrawn?

In some situations, it may be possible to have your voyeurism charges withdrawn. Whether or not this is possible will depend on a number of factors including the evidence in the possession of the Crown, the nature of the allegations and the criminal history of the accused. If you have been charged with voyeurism and your expectation is to have the charge withdrawn, it is important to consult with experienced legal counsel who can negotiate with the Crown on your behalf.

The Crown may agree to withdrawal a voyeurism charge if they do not have enough evidence to gain a conviction. As a general rule, the Crown’s office will not prosecute cases where there is no reasonable prospect of convicting the accused. Once police lay charges against someone, the Crown’s office will review the file to determine whether enough evidence exists to proceed. If there is not enough evidence, the Crown will withdrawal the charges.

The Crown may also agree to withdrawal the charges where convicting the individual is not in the public interest because the allegations are minor. In the most minor criminal cases, the Crown will decline to prosecute because it would not be in the public interest to give the accused a criminal record.

Finally, where an accused is a first-time offender and the allegations against them are not particularly serious, the Crown may agree to allow the accused to enter a diversion program. Once the accused has completed the conditions associated with the diversion program, the Crown will withdrawal the charges.

Can I get a Discharge for my Voyeurism Charge?

In some situations, yes. Discharges, both conditional and absolute are available to those charged with voyeurism. A discharge is a finding of guilt without a criminal conviction being entered on the accused’s record. There are no conditions attached to an absolute discharge and the accused’s case completes on the day the absolute discharge is granted. A conditional discharge is a discharge accompanied by a period of probation. An individual granted a conditional discharge will be placed on probation for between one and three years. They will be required to abide by certain conditions for the duration of the probationary period, at which time the case will conclude.

The Court may agree to grant an accused a discharge where it would not be in the interests of justice to give the accused a criminal record. Generally, the court will agree to a discharge where the accused is a first-time offender or where the allegations are minor.

The sentencing court may agree to an absolute discharge where they believe that monitoring the accused is not necessary. Where the sentencing court feels as though the accused should be monitored for a period of time, they will grant a conditional discharge. The court may require an accused to attend counselling to address any mental health concerns as part of the conditional discharge.

What will Happen if I am Convicted of Voyeurism?

Voyeurism is a hybrid offence. This means that voyeurism may be prosecuted either by summary conviction or by indictment, depending on the nature and severity of the offence. The Crown who screens the file will make an election to determine how to proceed. Where the allegations are serious the Crown will elect to proceed by indictment. In all other cases the Crown will proceed summarily.

The election the Crown makes will impact the outcome of the case. In particular, the election the Crown makes will affect the maximum penalty that may be imposed on the accused should they be convicted of the offence. The maximum penalty on summary conviction is two years less a day in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine and the maximum penalty on indictment is five years in prison.

Maximum penalties, however, are reserved for the most serious cases. For the most part, those convicted of criminal offences are sentenced to a penalty less than the maximum prescribed in the Criminal Code. Those convicted of voyeurism are more commonly sentenced to period of probation, community service and fines, or shorter periods of incarceration.

If you have been charged with voyeurism it is important to consult with legal counsel immediately to ensure your rights are protected. Those convicted of voyeurism face serious penalties including jail and large fines and may be ordered to register as a sex offender for a minimum of ten years. Donich Law has experience defending individuals charged with voyeurism and by combining negotiation, litigation, and risk management we regularly achieve great results for our clients.

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