The law has had to adapt to advances in modern technology by creating new offences for instances where technology is used for improper means.
In recent times, there have been a number of highly publicised incidents in which persons were charged under the law for filming others without their permission.
Section 91K of the Crimes Act deals with the offence of “filming a person engaged in a private act.”
It says that where you film another person engaged in a private act without their consent, and knowing that they did not consent, you may face a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $11,000.
A “private act” is any act which involves a person being undressed – such as using the toilet, showing, bathing or engaging in a sexual act.
“Private acts” may also include acts that a reasonable person would expect to perform in private, away from prying eyes.
Before you can be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must also prove that you filmed the other person or persons with the intention of obtaining or allowing another person to obtain sexual arousal or gratification.
You may also face heavier penalties where you committed the offence in “circumstances of aggravation” – in other words, where there were factors at play that made your offending more serious.
Under the law, there are two possible “circumstances of aggravation,” however the prosecution only needs to prove at least one for you to be found guilty of an aggravated offence. These are:
- Where the person being filmed was a child under the age of 16, or;
- Where you adapted a building for the purpose of filming – for example, if you installed secret cameras in the ceiling or walls.
In these cases, the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment.
While these penalties are obviously very lengthy, it’s important to remember that they are maximums only and will only apply in the most serious cases.
Our expert lawyers can give you the strongest possible defence against these type of charges by advising you of your options and any defences that you may raise to avoid a conviction.
If you are going to court for Filming Person Engaged in Private Act, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers 24/7 on (02) 9261 8881 to arrange a free first conference with an experienced defence lawyer who will advise you of your options and the best way forward, and fight to secure the optimal outcome.
Read on for more information.
Section 91K of the Crimes Act deals with the offence of “filming a person engaged in a private act” and reads as follows:
(1) General offence: A person who, for the purpose of obtaining, or enabling another person to obtain, sexual arousal or sexual gratification, films another person who is engaged in a private act:
(a) without the consent of the person being filmed to being filmed for that purpose, and
(b) knowing that the person being filmed does not consent to being filmed for that purpose,
is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years, or both.
(2) An offence against subsection (1) is a summary offence.
(3) Aggravated offence: A person who, for the purpose of obtaining, or enabling another person to obtain, sexual arousal or sexual gratification, films another person who is engaged in a private act:
(a) without the consent of the person being filmed to being filmed for that purpose, and
(b) knowing that the person being filmed does not consent to being filmed for that purpose, and
(c) in circumstances of aggravation,
is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty: imprisonment for 5 years.
(4) In this section,
“circumstances of aggravation” means circumstances in which:
(a) the person whom the offender filmed was a child under the age of 16 years, or
(b) the offender constructed or adapted the fabric of any building for the purpose of facilitating the commission of the offence.
(5) Alternative verdict: If on the trial of a person charged with an offence against subsection (3) the trier of fact is not satisfied that the offence is proven but is satisfied that the person has committed an offence against subsection (1), the trier of fact may acquit the person of the offence charged and find the person guilty of an offence against subsection (1). The person is liable to punishment accordingly.
(6) Attempts: A person who attempts to commit an offence under subsection (1) or (3) is liable to the penalty provided for the commission of the offence.
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Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.
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Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.
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We have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia.
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We are committed to thoroughly explaining all steps involved in the criminal law process, providing regular updates throughout the proceedings, and making ourselves accessible and responsive.
We are passionate about providing an exceptional level of service to our clients, and we fight hard to achieve optimal results in the shortest period of time.
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We have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running.
The awards recognise our exceptional track record of results, our outstanding client service, the high level of satisfaction we achieve, the affordability of our services and our overall excellence.
We want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004.
We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.
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For those who are going to court, we offer a free first conference of up to an hour with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers.
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And we offer fixed fees for most criminal and traffic law cases throughout the state.
Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists.
All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005.
An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field.
Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.
Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.
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Our team is passionate about achieving results, and unlike many other law firms, our lawyers do not have monthly financial ‘budgets’ to meet.
The absence of budgets means our lawyers are entirely focused on achieving optimal results in the shortest space of time; whether by getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage or having cases ‘thrown out of court’.
Not having budgets also means our lawyers are not under pressure to engage in unscrupulous practices such as unnecessarily adjourning cases or ‘overcharging’ clients – which, sadly, is a common complaint against many other lawyers and law firms.
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Our clients benefit from the pool of knowledge that only an extensive team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can provide.
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A team approach is particularly important when it comes to serious criminal cases such as murder, commercial drug cases, serious and sexual assaults, large-scale fraud, robbery and other ‘indictable’ cases.
In such matters, clients reap the benefits of several lawyers devising and executing case strategies which maximise the chances of having cases dropped or downgraded at an early stage, or ‘thrown out of court’ – often saving clients a great deal of cost, time and anxiety.
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Each of our lawyers appears in court on a daily basis, and has done so for years. We have therefore been able to develop an understanding of, and rapport with, magistrates and judges in Sydney and indeed across the state.
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If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.