With the increasing popularity and availability of commercial drones – the dangers of invasion of privacy charges have escalated exponentially – as a recent couple in Utah just learned.
A Utah man and his girlfriend were recently arrested on voyeurism charges for flying a drone and taping people in their homes.
While I have written about the subject of Colorado’s Invasion of Privacy laws before – it the drone “spin” that adds a new component.
The law provides that a person who knowingly observes or takes a photo of another person’s
– any person who knowingly observes or takes a photograph of another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent, and in a situation where the person photographed has a reasonable expectation of privacy, commits criminal invasion of privacy.
A “Photograph” includes a photograph, motion picture, videotape, live feed, print, negative, slide, or other mechanically, electronically, digitally, or chemically reproduced visual material.
When the District Attorney believes he has enough evidence to charge invasion of privacy for “sexual gratification” – the following enhanced law – 18-3-405.6 – may apply:
Understanding The Colorado Sex Crime Enhancement In Colorado Invasion Of Privacy Cases
To prove the crime of Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification is more difficult than it might first appear. The State has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Defendant’s intent, in the context of the intrusion, was to receive sexual gratification.
While the District Attorney may try to prove the enhanced charge – it is tough to prove circumstantially (without a confession) that a person’s intent was sexual and not just mischievous.
The Drone And The Colorado Crime Of Eavesdropping 18-9-304
One last point. Using a drone to listen in on the conversations of others may also be charged as a criminal act. This crime is called eavesdropping – and here is a LINK to an article I have written about the law.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at firstname.lastname@example.org – A Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – please call 720-220-2277.