H. Michael Steinberg has 38+ years of experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.
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Colorado Peeping Tom Privacy Laws 18-7-801 And Drones – Be Careful Out There

Colorado Peeping Tom Privacy Laws 18-7-801 And Drones - Be Careful Out There

Colorado Peeping Tom Privacy Laws 18-7-801

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney

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.

Colorado Basic Invasion Of Privacy Law – 18-7-801

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:

§ 18-3-405.6. Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification

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 hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – 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.