FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND VOYEURISM CHARGES IN NEWMARKET.  416-DEFENCE.

Being charged with a crime is a disconcerting and confusing experience, especially if you are being charged for the first time. Additionally, those who are convicted of a criminal offence will experience lasting repercussions as a result of their criminal record. If you have been charged with voyeurism in York Region, our Firm can assist you in navigating the criminal justice system. We have experience defending a wide variety of clients charged with voyeurism and regularly achieve positive results.

Donich Law frequently represents accused persons who are alleged to have surreptitiously recorded other people in private settings for a sexual purpose. A common example of voyeurism in York Region includes individuals secretly recording strangers in public places, such as inside a change. Another common example is an individual recording up the skirt or dress of a stranger in public.

In R. v. I.B. [2019], the Firm represented an individual charged with voyeurism after allegedly using his smartphone to record up the skirt of a stranger inside a Dollarama store. After significant negotiations with the Crown, the Firm was able to resolve the matter without a criminal record for the accused. In R. v. R.J. [2018], the Firm represented an individual alleged to be involved in a sophisticated scheme to record various women over several days at the Toronto Fan Expo. The Firm was able to negotiate a resolution involving no criminal record for the accused.

In 2017, the Firm secured the judicial interim release of an individual charged with making child pornography after he was caught secretly recording minor family members in the bathroom. In R. v. J.R. [2015], the Firm represented an individual charged with voyeurism after allegedly posing as a Toronto nightclub owner and requesting nude photos from women. The Firm ultimately had the charges withdrawn.

If you have been charged with a voyeurism offence our Firm can assist you in developing the best strategy for your allegations. We can advocate for your rights to ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

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.

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Legal Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Voyeurism?
How to Beat a Voyeurism Charge in York Region?
Will I go to Jail if I am Convicted of Voyeurism?
Will I have to Register as a Sex Offender if I am Convicted of Voyeurism?
Will a Voyeurism Conviction Impact Other Parts of my Life?

Additional Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
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

hat is Voyeurism?

Section 162(1) of the Criminal Code outlines the offence of voyeurism. It states that a person is guilty of the offence of voyeurism where they surreptitiously observe or record another person in circumstances that would give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy or where the other person is engaging in sexual activity if they are in a place where they can reasonably be expected to be nude or be exposing their genitals, anal region or breasts or be engaging in sexual activity, or if the person is nude, exposing their anal region or breasts or is engaging in sexual activity, if the recording is done for the purpose of recording or observing another individual in such a state or engaging in such an activity, or if the recording or observation is done for a sexual purpose.

Essentially, this means that an individual has committed the offence of voyeurism when they record or observe another person in a state which a regular person would expect to have privacy. A common example of voyeurism in York Region is an individual recording or observing another person while inside a bathroom. Another common example is one individual secretly recording up the dress of another individual in public. The Courts in Ontario have even found accused persons guilty of voyeurism for screenshotting a nude complainant on video chat.

How to Beat a Voyeurism Charge in York Region?

The offence of voyeurism is contained in Part V of the Criminal Code, which is the section of the Code containing all sexual offences. Sexual offences are among the most serious offences in Canada and are prosecuted aggressively by Crown attorneys. Crowns are often hesitant to offer favourable plea deals for those charged with sexual offences and regularly advocate for periods of incarceration upon sentencing. As a result, they can be difficult to defend in many cases.

When developing a strategy to defend a voyeurism charge, the most important factor will be the specific allegations being made. Defences commonly used in voyeurism cases in York Region include arguing that the complainant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the location they were in or that the observation or recording was not for a sexual purpose.

One of the elements of voyeurism that the Crown must prove to gain a conviction is that the complainant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the location they were recorded or observed. In some situations, depending on where the observation or recording took place, the accused may argue that the complainant had no reasonable expectation of privacy. In 2019, an Ontario judge acquitted an individual charged with voyeurism after he recorded a stranger on a nude beach. The accused made no attempt to hide the fact that he was recording, and the complainant had voluntarily disrobed on the beach. The Court found that the complainant did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy on the beach as it was an open public area and the complainant had voluntarily taken her clothing off, knowing others on the beach could see. Further, the Court reasoned that the accused did not surreptitiously record the complainant as is required by the Criminal Code.

Alternatively, an individual accused of voyeurism may argue that there was no sexual purpose to their observation or recording. For example, if one individual was taking photos of another individual on the beach for a legitimate purpose, and not for a sexual purpose, they may not be guilty of voyeurism.

Experienced legal counsel can assist you in developing the right defence for your charges. We have experience defending a variety of individuals charged with voyeurism in York Region and regularly achieve positive results for our clients, in some cases resolving the charges without a criminal record.

Will I go to Jail if I am Convicted of Voyeurism?

In York Region, voyeurism is considered a serious criminal offence and those who are convicted face serious criminal penalties. Due to the sexual nature of many voyeurism offences, Crowns are often hesitant to make favourable deals with those who have been charged. Additionally, Crowns may advocate for periods of incarceration upon conviction in many cases.

Voyeurism is a dual procedure offence which gives the Crown discretion regarding how the case will move through the criminal justice system and the maximum penalties that may accompany a conviction. In cases involving more minor allegations the Crown will proceed summarily and in more serious cases by indictment. Where the Crown proceeds summarily the accused will face a maximum of two years less a day imprisonment upon conviction, a $5,000 fine or both. In cases where the Crown proceeds by indictment, the accused will face a maximum of five years’ imprisonment upon conviction.

The Court will consider all aggravating and mitigating factors present in the case prior to determining the appropriate sentence upon conviction. The Crown will make submissions regarding the sentence they feel is appropriate and the defence will do the same.

Will I have to Register as a Sex Offender if I am Convicted of Voyeurism?

In some cases, yes. In Canada, voyeurism is considered a sexual offence, but also a privacy offence. In some cases, an individual may be charged with voyeurism for recording someone who is not nude or engaging in sexual activity. In these situations, the penalties for the accused will generally be less heavy than those who are recording or observing for a sexual purpose.

In Canada, those who are convicted of certain sexual offences are required to register as a sex offender under the federal Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA). The Criminal Code provides a list of designated offences that if committed, will require the Court to make a SOIRA order against the offender. The list of designated offences includes; sexual interference, sexual exploitation, invitation to sexual touching, child pornography, sexual assault, incest, sexual assault with a weapon, exposure, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm or aggravated sexual assault.

The Code also provides a list of other offences that if committed may warrant a SOIRA order. Voyeurism is included in this list. As such, if the Crown can prove that the accused committed voyeurism with the intent to commit one of the designated offences, the Court will issue a SOIRA order. A SOIRA order may last for ten years, twenty-five years or life.

Will a Voyeurism Conviction Impact Other Parts of my Life?

Being convicted of a criminal offence can have serious implications on an individual’s life aside from the criminal sanctions that are imposed by the Court. The existence of a criminal record can affect other aspects of an individual’s life including their ability to attain and maintain employment, the ability to volunteer or work with certain groups of people and the ability to travel outside of Canada.

In many cases, employers may choose to terminate an employee who has been arrested and charged with a criminal offence, especially if the offence is sexual in nature. Further, an individual with a criminal record may have difficulty attaining new employment in the future. Many employers require background checks on their employees prior to hiring them. Having a voyeurism offence on one’s criminal record may deter potential employers from hiring an individual. Additionally, those who have been convicted of voyeurism may be barred from volunteering or working with many vulnerable populations including children and the elderly. Finally, having a criminal record can make it difficult to travel outside of Canada. Many countries will refuse entry to those with a criminal history. The United States is particularly strict regarding who they will allow inside their country and having a voyeurism offence on one’s record could warrant refusal.

If you have been charged with voyeurism in York Region, Donich Law can assist you in developing the best strategy to defend your case. We have experience defending a wide variety of individuals charged with voyeurism and in some cases have been able to resolve the charges without a criminal record for our clients.

Quick Facts

What is Voyeurism?

An individual is guilty of the offence of voyeurism where they surreptitiously record or observe another individual in a setting where the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, or where the individual is, or could be reasonably expected to be, exposing their breasts, genitals or anal area or engaging in sexual activity, or where the recording or observation is done for a sexual purpose.

What are the Most Common ways People Commit Voyeurism?

In York Region, one of the most common ways people commit voyeurism offences involve situations where one individual secretly records up the dress or skirt of another individual while in a public place.

How to Beat a Voyeurism Charge?

Defending voyeurism offences can be difficult, especially in situations where the police seize the recording device and use it as evidence against the accused. It is important to hire experienced legal counsel to assist in formulating a defence. In some cases, the accused may argue that the recording or observation was not done for a sexual purpose.

Can I go to Jail for Voyeurism?

In some cases, yes. Voyeurism is considered a sexual offence in Canada. Individuals who are convicted of voyeurism will face a maximum penalty ranging from two years less a day to five years’ imprisonment depending on the severity of the allegations.

If Voyeurism a Sex Offence?

Yes. Voyeurism is considered a sexual offence as well as a privacy offence. In all cases involving voyeurism, the privacy rights of the complainant have been violated. As such, voyeurism offences are considered very serious by the courts.

Will I have to Register as a Sex Offender?

In some cases, yes. While voyeurism is not a designated offence, meaning sex offender registration is not mandatory, in some cases the Court will make a SOIRA order. If the Crown can prove that the accused committed the voyeurism offence with the intention of committing a designated sexual offence, the Court will issue a SOIRA order. This order will require the accused to register as a sex offender for a period specified by the Court, ranging from ten years to life.

416-DEFENCE | 416-333-3623