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Is peeping a crime?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Firm News

Respecting other’s personal space and privacy is standard. However, curiosity about others, the search for sexual gratification or the thrill of doing something forbidden could drive a person to overstep boundaries. Regardless of the motivation, secret peeping is a violation.

What is secret peeping?

Secret peeping involves observing or recording someone without consent in places where they naturally expect privacy. North Carolina law outlines a wide range of activities that may fall under secret peeping, such as:

  • Watching another person secretly in a private space such as a bedroom, rest room or dressing room
  • Using a mirror or another device to look under or through someone’s clothes without consent
  • Having a camera or similar device while secretly watching someone in a room
  • Setting up a device to take photos or videos of another or to arouse sexual desire
  • Distributing images taken while secretly peeping

Peeping does not always require sexual intent, but it is often the case for those apprehended for the crime in North Carolina. If you are facing sex crime or criminal charges, you could be subject to severe penalties.

Penalties for peeping

Secret peeping can lead to a misdemeanor or felony charge, which may be punishable by jail time. Moreover, a second violation may result in mandatory sex offender registration. Either could carry long-term consequences affecting various aspects of life, from employment to housing.

People-watching in a public place is a socially acceptable activity. Many even do it subconsciously. However, deliberately looking into a room or using hidden devices to watch someone else without them knowing can cross the line. Secret peeping is not just an invasion of privacy, but a punishable crime that requires a strong legal defense.