The Criminal Case That Could Not Be Made Criminal
It is probably safe to assume that a proclamation of one’s innocence is an all-too-common statement made in the police stations of Illinois and on court TV dramas all over the country. A person is accused of a crime and then swears to their innocence. Sometimes, however, a person is not guilty, and a recent case out of a different state shows one strange way a person can avoid charges altogether.
A man was accused of taking inappropriate pictures of a teenage girl at a public event. The man was arrested by police, but criminal charges were never filed by the district attorney. The DA eventually concluded that the state’s existing disorderly conduct and privacy laws do not specifically address this incident of alleged voyeurism. The actions may not be a criminal offense under the laws currently in place.
The case started in Oregon and is gaining notoriety elsewhere. More than 2,000 Facebook users support a page devoted to making this crime a felony. Personal privacy charges are currently only a misdemeanor offense and are expected to be filed.
Legal loopholes may not be uncommon when changing times and technological advances happen more quickly than new laws can be passed. In similar situations in Illinois the accused may have benefited from immediately contacting an experiencedcriminal defense attorney to handle the charges and allegations. There are numerous rights that need to be protected in a criminal case, and an attorney may be able to help a defendant capitalize on vague areas in current laws that have not kept up with the times.
Source: Katu.com, “Video Voyeurism: No clear cut law it’s a crime,” Chelsea Kopta, Dec. 9. 2013