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NJ Invasion of Privacy Charges – NJSA 2C:14-9

The Importance of Getting Help Fighting Invasion of Privacy Charges in New Jersey

If you’re looking for a defense attorney to help you fight a charge such as an Invasion of Privacy Charge in New Jersey under NJSA 2C: 14-9, then it’s important that you find the right lawyer for the job. Understanding the law is also important. Here’s some information about the law and how to defend against charges.

An Overview of 2C: 14-9 Invasion of Privacy in New Jersey

There are three types of behaviors that count as a criminal invasion of privacy under this part of the NJSA code in New Jersey. They include:

  1. Watching another person in a situation where any reasonable person would know that sexual contact or exposure of intimate parts could occur without that person’s consent in a situation that the alleged victim reasonably considers private. This is a fourth-degree crime and is often called a “Peeping Tom” crime. It carries a max sentence of 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
  2. Photographing, videotaping, or otherwise recording someone’s private parts or their sexual acts or contact without permission in a reasonably private situation is a third-degree crime if the actor knows they don’t have permission or license to do so.
  3. Sharing recordings of sexual contact or private parts without license or permission is also a third-degree crime in New Jersey. Again, this occurs if the alleged victim has a presumption of privacy such as in their home.

So, to summarize, if you record someone’s private parts without their permission, this is a crime. If you then “disclose” these recordings or reproductions of recordings, then this is another crime.

In other words, prosecutors could accuse you of two crimes if you are accused of both recording and sharing.

What Does “Third or Fourth Degree Mean?

In New Jersey, a third-degree crime has a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. 

A fourth-degree crime in New Jersey gives you up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison. It also comes with a fine of as much as $10,000. The other important part to note here is that this is a felony conviction on your criminal record.

It’s the least serious of 4 possible degrees of crime in New Jersey. These offenses are heard in the county in which the action occurred. This is an important factor when it comes to your lawyer deciding how to proceed.

In New Jersey, the court won’t mandate prison time if you are convicted of a fourth-degree time and this is your first offense. People call this “presumption of non-incarceration.” You may be able to dismiss charges through a Pretrial Intervention or just do probation.

Legitimate Defenses

There are situations that could defend you from prosecution. For example, the following could be defenses:

  • If you notified the alleged victim of your actions and had explicit permission from them. Paying someone for pictures with their permission could be a defense, for example.
  • If it was legal for some other reason. So, if you acted with “lawful purpose.”
  • People who pose in the access way or entrance to a fitting room aren’t protected. The defense would have to prove that the actor “conspicuously” set up in the entrance. If you are taking photos of such a person, you would need to have provided “prior notice of intent.” to avoid prosecution.

Other Exceptions

Police officers acting in accordance with their job can’t be prosecuted for observing or recording someone. No one can prosecute if the accused is acting according to a court order or subpoena, or if a co-worker or manager is just doing their job.

Pay attention to the difference between the “entranceway” of a fitting as opposed to the actual stall. This is a critical distinction under the law. Prosecutors can charge you for the private stall but not the entranceway.

It’s important to find a lawyer to help organize your defense of an intrusion of privacy charge for the following reasons-

Interfacing with Law Enforcement

Some people often get the idea that they can say anything around police officers, or that they have to answer every question posed to them. Police officers are not necessarily on your side.

Calling a lawyer right away will allow the attorney to save you from yourself. Some officials may twist your words or get you to say something that sounds incriminating. Your intent isn’t always as important as what you say.

Getting a lawyer on site quickly will help make sure you don’t make any unintentional errors that hurt your defense later.

Gaining Knowledge of New Jersey Laws

The best lawyers will know how specifically about how this statue works in New Jersey. They will also know other intricacies of the law and how it tends to work locally.

Knowledgeable lawyers will help you understand the exact charge and what potential sentence you are facing.

Creating Your Best Defense and Reducing Sentencing

Experienced lawyers will also be able to help you getting charges reduced to probation if you qualify. They will be able to look into dismissing charges during a possible pretrial intervention. If they are successful in this, you won’t have to worry about the case any further since the charges would be dismissed.

Getting Started and Improving Your Situation

Getting a lawyer is essential in cases where you are charged with breaking a New Jersey privacy law. There are many situations where the “reasonable expectation of privacy” part of the law can be questioned.

Other parts of the law including whether you had permission or consent may also be challenged. However, this is only going to work if you have someone who knows the law on your side. If you don’t have this kind of help, the odds of you successfully fighting the charge will tend to go way down as a result.

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