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Video Person in Undergarments
PC 647(j)(2)-(3)
Law, Punishment, & Defense

The law on the crime of illegal video recording a person in the nude or in undergarments (invasion of privacy) is found at California penal code section PC 647(j)(2)).

PC 647(j)(2) Law

PC 647(j)(2): A person, who uses a concealed camcorder, motion picture camera, or photographic camera…, to secretly videotape, film, photograph, or record…, another …person under, or through the clothing being worn by that other person, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person, without the consent or knowledge of that other person, with the intent to arouse, appeal to, or gratify the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person and invade the privacy of that other person, under circumstances in which the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy… is guilty of unconsented video recording of a person in the nude PC 647(j)(2) Abbrev.).

Example: David sets up a secret and concealed video camera in the women’s changing room of clothing store. David’s intent is to sexually gratify himself when he watches the women changing in the dressing room. Result: David will likely be charged with a violation of PC 647(j)(2).

Invasion of Privacy: A person has a reasonable expectation of privacy in a bathroom, bedroom, department store changing room, tanning salon changing room, doctor's exam room, and more. A person does not ordinarily have a reasonable expectation of privacy in public places. Also, a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy even if he or she is in the home of another person.

Example: David sets up a secret and concealed video camera in the bedroom of his own home. David then secretly films himself and his girlfriend, Janet, engaged in sexual intercourse. Janet never impliedly or expressly consents to David's filming. Result: David is charged with PC 647(j)(2) because his filming of Janet in the nude was without her consent. This is true even though Janet consented to being nude in front of David during sexual intercourse, and even though it was David's home where he installed the secret and concealed video camera. Janet consented to David seeing her naked during sexual intercourse with him, but she did not consent to David secretly filming her naked in an area where she had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Concealed Camera: Concealing a video recorder or video camera is not necessarily unlawful by itself. The question is whether the victim is made aware of, and consents to, his or her image being video recorded in an area that has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Nudity Not Required: The crime of PC 647(j)(2) is complete even if the defendant does not capture a video of another person in the nude (naked), or in undergarments. It a crime to set up the secretly concealed video recorder or video camera in a place of reasonable expectation of privacy and without the consent of the victim, regardless of whether the defendant captures an image or video of the victim.

Note: PC 647(j)(2) only applies if the victim is capable of being “identified.” For example, the unconsented to secret video recording of a silhouette of person, who is being video recorded in a place where he or she should enjoy a reasonable expectation of privacy, is not likely a violation of penal code 647(j)(2). This is because the silhouette of a person cannot ordinarily identify the person being recorded.

Note: PC 647(j)(2) is charged where there is a sexual component to the defendant’s intent when he or she secretly hides a video recorder or camera in a changing room. When there is no sexual component related to the offense, the crime is usually charged under PC 647(j)(3).

Example: David conceals a video recorder in the bathroom of his business (without consent of the users of the bathroom), because David believes there is theft occurring in the bathroom of his business. Result: David could be charged with PC 647(j)(3), instead of PC 647(j)(2). This is because there is no sexual component to David’s crime, but he nevertheless invaded the privacy of his employees without consent.

PC 647(j)(2) Punishment

Jail Sentence: Nonconsensual video recording of a person in the nude or in undergarments, and in an area where that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, is charged as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of PC 647(j)(2), the defendant could face a jail sentence up to 180 days.

Note: If the defendant has previously suffered a conviction for penal code 647(j)(2), or the alleged victim of the secret video recording is a minor, then the defendant may face up to a year on the county jail upon a conviction for PC 647(j)(2).

Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is a period of supervision, instead of a jail sentence. A probation sentence is allowed after a conviction for PC 647(j)(2); however, a probation sentence is never guaranteed. Whether a defendant receives a probation after a conviction for PC 647(j)(2) depends on many facts, including the sophistication of the alleged offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and more. See Probation & Parole for CA Sex Crimes.

Sex Offender Registration: Sex offender registration is not mandatory in invasion of privacy cases charged under PC 647(j)(2). However, if the judge finds that the crime was committed due to the defendant’s uncontrolled sexual compulsion, then the court may order the defendant to register as a sex offender for ten (10) years (PC 290.006). See Sex Offender Registration Tier System.

Additional Penalties: In addition to the penalties listed above, if found guilty of video record a person in undergarments without consent (PC647(j)(2)-M), the defendant could face the following penalties, loss of a business licenses related to the crime, civil lawsuits, victim restitution, loss of a professional license, loss of immigration status, court fees and fines, and more.

Note: PC 647(j)(2) and PC 647(j)(3) have similar penalties.

If you have been charged with a violation of PC 647(j)(2), Unlawful Video Recording a Person in Undergarments (or in the nude), contact our sex crimes criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our sex crimes defense lawyers have helped hundreds of defendants charged with felony and misdemeanor sex crimes in the Inland Empire. We can help you too. Call today!


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