An offense that is closely tied to harassment is invasion of privacy under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-9. If you have been charged with invasion of privacy, you should know that this offense can be very contentious. These cases not only tend to involve motivated prosecutors but also victims that are aggressively pushing the issue behind the scenes. A skilled defense attorney like those at our firm is an absolute imperative for anyone facing an invasion of privacy charge.

Bloomfield NJ Invasion of Privacy Defense Attorneys

There are essentially three (3) forms of conduct that can give rise to a conviction for invasion of privacy under 2C:14-9. Two circumstances must exist for a violation to occur under any of these provisions. First, there must be exposure of intimate parts, sexual penetration or sexual contact. Second, the actor must do something to view or record this conduct without authority or consent to do so. The following is a summary of each variety of invasion of privacy set forth under the NJ Invasion of Privacy Law:

(a) Observing Another Person Expose Intimate Parts, Engage In Sexual Penetration or Sexual Contact Without Consent.  For this section to apply, the observation must be unexpected, meaning that a reasonable person would not anticipate that they will be observed. The typical example of activity this section is intended to target is the actor who installs cameras or other means in order to observe another while changing, having sex, etc. A conviction for observing someone in this manner is a fourth degree crime.

(b) Photographing, Filming, Videotaping or Otherwise Recording Someone’s Intimate Parts or Sexual Activity Without Consent.  Similar to the violation set forth in (a), the victim must not anticipate that his/her naked intimate parts or sexual acts are being photographed or recorded. The thrust of this section is to target those individuals who create video and other depictions of another who reasonably believe that their nudity, sexual intercourse, oral sex, masturbation or other sexual acts are being undertaken in “privacy”. When someone photographs, videotapes or otherwise records a person changing, using a bathroom, locker room, or engaging in these acts, without consent or authority, they are guilty of a third degree crime.

(c) Disclosing a Sexual Photograph, Film or Other Depiction Without Consent.The third and final form of invasion of privacy occurs where someone “discloses” the naked or sexual images and depictions like those identified in (b) without consent/authority to do so. The important distinction between (b) and this variety of this offense is that the generation of the photographs, video, etc., need not be without consent, instead, it is the disclosure that is targeted. The classic setting where this charge arises is where someone films or photographs sexual acts or poses with a consenting adult and then circulates, posts on the internet or otherwise discloses the images/film without authority to do so. A violation of this section is also a third degree crime.

Since invasion of privacy can come in the form of a fourth or third degree crime, both of which are indictable felony offenses, the only place where this charge can be heard is at the Essex County Superior Court a few blocks from our Newark Defense Firm.

Third degree invasion of privacy under section (b) or (c) above carries significant penalties. There is a jail term of up to 5 years that may be imposed and this period of incarceration is independent of what may be imposed for a related act of domestic violence or restraining order violation. In addition, a violation of (b) can result in a $15,000 fine. An enhanced third degree fine of $30,000 applies in the case of convictions under (c). Fourth degree invasion of privacy results in a state prison term of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000.

Montclair NJ Invasion of Privacy Defense Attorneys

Essex County Prosecutors take invasion of privacy charges very seriously and so should you. And when it comes to defending delicate cases like this, experience is invaluable. Our team can offer you an exceptional level of knowledge and skill with a combined 100 years in practice, including years as prosecutors.  Call us for a no obligation consultation.