March 20th, 2017 at 8:42 am
There are several different offenses that constitute disorderly conduct under Illinois law. However, one of the least obvious forms of disorderly conduct is voyeurism, or “peeping,” which is an invasion of privacy of someone else. The victim, or person who is spied upon, has had his or her personal space violated by the peeping act, and the Illinois courts take the invasion of privacy very seriously.
Like many of the other forms of disorderly conduct, the offense of peeping often involves a state of intoxication—but certainly not always. Being drunk is no excuse under the law for invading the privacy of another by spying on him or her in their home. However, it does lend context to how the peeping incident may have come to pass.
Many criminal defendants who are charged with disorderly conduct for peeping on someone did so as a result of exercising poor judgement, while in a state of intoxication, or were acting in response to peer pressure.
Whatever the case may be for you, if you are facing disorderly conduct charges for peeping, it is important that you work with a lawyer to fight the charges that are pending against you. You are facing a conviction on a misdemeanor offense. You could go to jail, pay a fine, get a criminal record, and you could develop a reputation if you are convicted.
What Constitutes “Peeping” Under Illinois Law?
Under 720 ILCS 5/26-1(a)(11), someone who looks into a dwelling through a window or other opening for the purpose of being lewd or for spying is considered a voyeur. The act must be done deliberately and for a lewd or unlawful purpose. There is a difference between accidentally and coincidentally looking into someone’s window and doing so with the deliberate intent of unlawfully watching someone through a window.
Deliberately peeping or spying on someone without his or her knowledge is illegal in Illinois and it is a crime that is taken very seriously. Since the offender must have a lewd or ill intent in order to commit the crime, a possible defense is that there was no lewd intent to the act. It could be that the defendant just happened to look in a window and saw someone, or that it was an accident.
While such a defense may be the truth, it can be difficult to prove intent. Still, an experienced and skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you put your strongest defense forward as you fight your disorderly conduct charges.
Are You Facing Disorderly Conduct Charges?
If you have been arrested for disorderly conduct, such as peeping on another through a window or some other opening to a dwelling, it is important that you get into touch with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. You could be facing a misdemeanor if you are convicted.