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Voyeurism in Maryland

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Have you ever been given warning that there’s a “peeping tom” in the neighborhood? This is the common, colloquial term for someone who hides out in places where they can see into windows and spy on people as they get undressed for their own sexual gratification. This is sometimes known as “voyeurism” but in Maryland law it’s defined as the crime of “visual surveillance with prurient intent,” and it can carry some extremely heavy penalties if you’re convicted.

At the Law Offices of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, we recognize the crucial importance of acting quickly if you’ve been accused of a sex crime, and we are not afraid to take action immediately to come to your defense and fight to help you preserve your reputation. Throughout his more than 25 years of experience, Attorney James E. Crawford, Jr. takes a unique approach to each case that includes getting to know you personally and all of the facts of your case in order to develop a unique, personalized defense that makes a successful outcome his top priority. He is extremely proud that his firm has become recognized as a top law firm in the area, and he puts a 100 percent effort into each client he represents.

Schedule a consultation appointment today by calling Law Offices of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates at (443) 709-9999!

Maryland’s Voyeurism Laws Explained

As we stated previously, Maryland’s voyeurism laws are actually known as visual surveillance with prurient intent. Prurient isn’t a word that’s used all that often—it means “having sexual interest.” This law is actually based on our state’s “visual surveillance” laws, but includes a few extra elements and conditions. Visual surveillance can be defined as a violation of privacy that’s granted in a public place. While surveillance is legal in public places, it’s not legal in places which have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” such as changing rooms, saunas, or the restroom.

Penalties for visual surveillance with prurient intent include:

  • Jail time: up to 18 months in jail
  • Large fine: up to $2,500
  • Civil damages: You may be liable for damages to the victim, which can be extremely high

Prurient intent is not defined to the same degree, but plays a critical role in this law. In essence, the law states that it’s against the law to record someone’s “private area” without their consent. The law defines “private areas” as areas which would not normally be visible to the general public, including genitals, buttocks, or female breasts. The law also states that the genitals don’t need to be exposed—they can still be undergarment-clad. In the case of this law, the victim does not have to be in a public place for the crime to occur, either.

Contact Law Offices of David E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates now and let us review your case with you!

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