Peeping Tom Laws in CO: What You Should Know

In old movies, you often hear of people being referred to as “Peeping Toms,” looking in through unsuspecting people’s windows. This seems as if it’s something completely manufactured by Hollywood, but the truth is that people do this – and it’s a sex crime when they do.

Colorado strictly prohibits the invasion of someone’s privacy for the purposes of sexual gratification. This means that acts such as taking photos without consent are against the law, and they can land you a very serious criminal charge.

Here’s what you need to know about Peeping Tom laws in Colorado.

Invasion of Privacy Law in Colorado

It is illegal to watch someone undress in a location they believe to be private without their consent, under the invasion of privacy for sexual gratification laws in the state.

If law enforcement believes you have acted in the following ways for the purpose of your own sexual gratification, then they will pursue charges against you:

  • Taken photos of someone without consent, or
  • Observed a person without consent, and
  • Done so in a situation where the unconsenting person has what is referred to as a “reasonable expectation of privacy”

You may have heard of this law being violated when someone records people in public restroom stalls or puts nanny cams in homes. However, simply watching someone without recording them as they undress or bathe is also against the law.

What Are the Penalties for Peeping Toms?

In most cases, invasion of privacy for sexual gratification is a Class 1 misdemeanor. But it can sometimes be seen as a crime of extraordinary risk, in which case the penalties become more severe. If you are convicted, you can face up to two years in jail and be made to pay fines of as much as $5,000. You also will be required to register as a sex offender for at least five years, if not longer.

If you have a criminal history that involves any type of sex crime or have broken Peeping Tom laws involving minors, then it can be elevated to a Class 6 felony. If found guilty of a felony, you face:

  • Up to 24 months in prison
  • Fines of as much as $100,000
  • 10 years of being required to register as a sex offender

Why You Need an Attorney

If you are being charged with invasion of privacy for sexual gratification, don’t blow it off. Even as a misdemeanor, it’s a sex crime that can impact the rest of your life, if found guilty. In fact, a sex offense on your criminal record can make it difficult to find a place to live, a place to work, and even jeopardize any sort of professional licensure you may hold.

Colorado Springs Peeping Tom Lawyer

A defense attorney can help you to formulate a defense against these charges, which may include strategies such as:

  • Maintaining that no photos were taken
  • Arguing that the victim consented
  • The purpose of what you were doing was not sexual gratification
  • There was no reasonable expectation of privacy

An attorney will work on a defense that best fits the circumstances of your case.

Peeping Toms may be something you’ve only considered in relation to movies and television, but they really exist – and it’s a real crime. Make sure to understand the charges against you if you are facing this crime, as well as your rights in the situation.


About the Author:

Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.