Austin Voyeurism Lawyer

Voyeurism, the act of observing another person without their consent in a private setting for sexual gratification, carries serious legal consequences if you’re convicted. Understanding Texas’ voyeurism law is important for anyone who is or might be facing charges.

Cofer & Connelly, PLLC has extensive experience in advocating for individuals facing sex offense charges in the state of Texas. To schedule a consultation with a voyeurism attorney, reach out to Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, either by dialing (512) 991-0576 or contacting us online.

Texas Law on Voyeurism

Under Texas Statutes Section 21.17, voyeurism means observing another person without their consent. This law applies when you, with the intention of arousing or satisfying your own sexual desires, watch someone else who is in a place where they expect to have privacy, like their home or another private place.

The key elements of this law that a prosecutor must prove for a conviction are quite straightforward. First, the action of observation is important. You are considered to have committed voyeurism if you watch someone else without their consent. This does not necessarily mean using devices like cameras or binoculars, although those tools might be involved. Simple observation with the naked eye falls under the law as well.

Secondly, the location where the observation occurs is important. The person being observed must be in a place where they would normally expect privacy. This means places like their home, a hotel room, a changing room, or any area where a person would reasonably assume they won't be watched.

Thirdly, your intent is a critical aspect of voyeurism as defined by this law. The act of observation must be carried out with the specific intent to arouse or gratify sexual desire.

Penalties for Voyeurism in Texas

In Texas, the penalties for voyeurism vary based on the classification of the offense.

  • Class C Misdemeanor: This is the basic level of offense for voyeurism. If you're convicted of voyeurism as a Class C misdemeanor, you face a fine of up to $500. There is no jail time associated with this classification.
  • Class B Misdemeanor: If it's proven in court that you have previously been convicted twice or more of voyeurism, the offense is elevated to a Class B misdemeanor. This carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
  • State Jail Felony: Should the victim of voyeurism be a child less than 14 years of age when the offense occurs, the charge is elevated to a state jail felony. This classification can lead to a sentence of 180 days to 2 years in state jail, and a fine of up to $10,000.

Additionally, it’s possible to be charged under this law, another law, or both if your conduct constitutes an offense under another law as well. This means that the legal consequences you face might extend beyond the specific law of voyeurism if your actions also fall under other criminal offenses.

In Texas, potential alternatives to incarceration could include probation, community service, rehabilitation programs, or deferred adjudication, depending on the specifics of your case and your criminal history.

Potential Defenses to Voyeurism Charges

In defending against voyeurism charges, several strategies might be possible, depending on the specifics of your case.

Lack of Sexual Intent

One key element of voyeurism is the intent to arouse or gratify sexual desire. If you can demonstrate that your actions lacked this sexual intent, it may serve as a defense. For instance, if you were observing someone for a non-sexual reason, this could be a relevant defense.


If the person being observed had given consent, this could be used as a defense. However, proving consent in situations typically associated with an expectation of privacy can be complex.

No Reasonable Expectation of Privacy

If the person you observed was in a public place or a location where they could not reasonably expect privacy, this might be a defense. For example, observing someone in a public park does not typically constitute voyeurism.

Mistaken Identity or False Accusations

In some cases, you might argue that you were mistakenly identified as the person committing the act or that the accusations against you are false. This could involve providing an alibi or evidence that challenges the credibility of the accuser's story.

Accidental Observation

If you accidentally observed someone (for instance, through an unshaded window), and it was not intentional or for sexual gratification, this might serve as a defense.

Role of a Voyeurism Lawyer in Austin

If you're facing voyeurism charges, having a lawyer who is experienced with these cases is important. Your lawyer plays an important role in guiding you through the legal process and defending your rights. 

Your lawyer starts by thoroughly understanding your case. They will review the charges against you, gather all relevant facts, and analyze the evidence. This often involves interviewing witnesses, seeking out surveillance footage, or obtaining other forms of evidence that could be important in your defense.

A significant part of your lawyer's job is to ensure you understand every aspect of your case. They will explain the charges against you, the legal implications, and what outcomes you might expect. Your lawyer will also keep you informed about your legal options, whether it's fighting the charges in court or considering a plea deal.

In court, your lawyer represents you. They will challenge the prosecution's evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and present your defense. Your lawyer's goal is to create reasonable doubt about the prosecution's case.

Negotiation skills are also an important part of your lawyer's role. They may negotiate with the prosecution for a reduced charge or a plea deal, especially if the evidence against you is not strong. This can result in lesser penalties and can sometimes be the best course of action, depending on the circumstances of your case.

Frequently Asked Questions about Voyeurism

What is voyeurism in Texas?
Voyeurism involves observing someone without their consent in a place where they expect privacy, with the intent of sexual arousal.

Is it voyeurism if the person is in public?
No, voyeurism typically involves observing someone in a private setting where they expect privacy.

Can I be charged if I didn’t mean to observe someone?
If the observation was accidental and without sexual intent, it may not be considered voyeurism.

Does the age of the victim affect the charge?
Yes, if the victim is under 14, the charge can be elevated to a state jail felony.

What if I was falsely accused of voyeurism?
False accusations can be contested with evidence and legal defense strategies.

Are there defenses against voyeurism charges?
Defenses may include lack of sexual intent, consent by the observed person, or no reasonable expectation of privacy. Other defenses may be possible.

How can a lawyer help in a voyeurism case?
A lawyer can provide legal defense, negotiate with prosecutors, and guide you through the legal process.

Contact Our Austin Voyeurism Attorneys Today

If you're facing voyeurism charges, it's important to seek legal guidance promptly. At Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, our skilled voyeurism lawyers are ready to assist you. We are experienced in representing clients charged with sex offenses of all levels of severity in the state. For a consultation with a voyeurism lawyer, contact Cofer & Connelly, PLLC by calling (512) 991-0576 or contacting us online.

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