What are the best defences to voyeurism?

By Last Updated: September 7, 2022

best defences to voyeurismThe best defence to a voyeurism charge will depend largely on the circumstances of the case. However, one common defence to this charge would be to argue that there was no reasonable expectation of privacy where the observation or recording took place. For example, an accused cannot be guilty of voyeurism if they take a recording of people without clothes on a nude beach. In that particular scenario, because the complainants are in a public setting where they can expect to be within the view of others, they could not have held a reasonable expectation of privacy. Without the violation of a reasonable expectation of privacy, there can be no offence.

Another common defence to a voyeurism charge would be to argue that the observation or the recording was not done for a sexual purpose. For example, it could be possible that the recording was being made to surveil and area for security or artistic reasons and the recording of the complainant was accidental. In such a circumstance the person accused with the crime would lack the mental intent necessary to be guilty of the offence.

Another effective way to challenge a voyeurism charge would be to argue that the evidence against you was obtained in violation of the rights and freedoms guaranteed to you by the Charter. For example, it could be the case that the police found the recording while conducting an illegal search of your phone or computer. In such an event, you can defend your charges by arguing that the illegal search was a serious violation of your section 8 Charter right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. In the event that this motion is successful, you can argue that all evidence gathered in violation of your rights should be excluded from your trial. If the evidence that is excluded is the recording, it may be enough for you to be acquitted from your charges.

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Michael Oykhman

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Michael Oykhman is a senior lawyer and founder of Strategic Criminal Defence, a full-service criminal law firm with central law offices across Western Canada and Ontario.

My professional experience consists of countless court appearances and thousands of successful defences and satisfied clients. Over the last 10 years, I have worked to build a law office where all the lawyers share our collective experience, resources, and passion to help people. Our team approach to legal representation is client–rather than only law–centred. We look for opportunities to add value to our clients through strategic thinking and creative solutions.

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