No matter how hard you try, there is a lot of information about each person on the internet. Even if they don't personally post on social media, their friends and family are posting about them (unless they literally live under a rock). For that reason, there are a lot of gray areas when it comes to the general idea of having one's privacy invaded. That is why laws are in place surrounding the actual crime of invasion of privacy. This occurs when a person's reasonable expectation of privacy is invaded. For example, if a private phone conversation that contains sensitive information is listened to without the victim's consent or knowledge.
Here are a few examples of invasion of privacy:
- Illegal interception of calls
- Unwanted and incessant phone calls
- Publicizing a private matter regarding another person's life
- Taking photos or videos of someone inside their private space without their consent
How serious is the offense of invasion of privacy in California?
This extends past a prying neighbor and could lead to consequences like a lawsuit or even criminal penalties. The California Penal Code Sections 630-638 gives specific information regarding invasion of privacy as well as the penalties it could bring.
How are modern technologies impacting invasion of privacy?
As technology advances, so do the opportunities to invade the privacy of others. Whether this is audio or visual, more and more techniques are arising which threaten the privacy of others. However, it was not lawmakers intent to inhibit the ability of law enforcement officers to do their jobs and it remains in the best interests of public safety to allow forms of privacy invasion in order to bring criminals to justice.
However, if a person was arrested on suspicion of illegally invading the privacy of another, they could be fined up to $2,500 as well as imprisoned in the county jail for up to one year. If the individual had already been convicted of the same crime, the fine could increase to $10,000 as well as a year in jail.
Invasion of Privacy in Real Life
In a recent case, a man was convicted of invasion of privacy for using a webcam to spy on his roommate in 2010. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail for this crime, but if he exhibits good behavior he could be out in 20 days. However, the state law stipulates that invasion of privacy is a second-degree crime that could lead to five to seven years in prison, a much harsher punishment than he was given.
If you were accused of invasion of privacy or any other criminal offense, it is important to understand your rights and ensure that they are protected. Please do not waste any time in contacting a criminal defense attorney from our team at Martinian & Associates Inc.