New York skyline and picture of Attorneys
Former New York Prosecutors Aggressive Representation With Over 30 Years of Experience
The National Trial Lawyers
AVVO - 10.0 Superb
AVVO - Client Choice
AVVO - Superb
AVVO - Criminal Defense
AVVO - Featured Attorney
Expertise

Unlawful Surveillance and Invasion of Privacy

The Penal Law prohibits a number of forms of electronic invasions of privacy. First, Penal Law Section 250.05 makes it a Class E felony to eavesdrop on another without his/her consent. It specifically prohibits wiretapping, the mechanical overhearing of a conversation (such as secretly listening in on a telephone conversation), or intercepting or accessing of an electronic communication (such as an e-mail).

The other common crime in this chapter of the Penal Law is Unlawful Surveillance. It occurs generally when a person installs or uses a hidden camera to view, record or broadcast a person without their consent while they are dressing or undressing, or using the bathroom or changing room, or when their sexual or other intimate parts of their body are exposed. One highly-publicized recent case of Unlawful Surveillance involved a public defender at the Legal Aid Society who was convicted of using a hidden camera to take video footage of his female colleagues while they were undressing. The attorney, Peter Barta, was disbarred from the practice of law following his felony conviction. Details of that case are available here . Interestingly, this charge may also apply to cases where a person videotapes a consensual sexual encounter without the person’s knowledge. For example, Diana Bianchi, the teenaged mistress of Christie Brinkley’s ex-husband Peter Cook, recently considered lodging a criminal complaint of Unlawful Surveillance in the Second Degree against Cook for allegedly videotaping their sexual trysts. The crime is a Class E felony, and can be a Class D felony for repeat offenders.

The crime of Dissemination of an Unlawful Surveillance Image occurs when a person knowingly distributes these sorts of unlawful images. Recently, Erin Andrews, an ESPN sportscaster, was the apparent victim of just such a crime when nude photos of her, taken through the keyhole of a door, were posted on the internet. The crime can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on whether the unlawful images were sold for profit, whether the disseminator was the person who created the images, and/or whether the person accused of the crime is a repeat offender.

Key Penal Law Provisions:

  • Eavesdropping, PL 250.05
  • Unlawful surveillance in the second degree, PL 250.45, a class E felony
  • Unlawful surveillance in the first degree, PL 250.50, a class D felony
  • Dissemination of an unlawful surveillance image in the second degree, PL 250.55, a class A misdemeanor
  • Dissemination of an unlawful surveillance image in the first degree, PL 250.60, a class E felony
Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mr. Galluzzo and his team at G&J are absolutely one of the best at what they do. The work tirelessly at getting the best possible result for the case at hand and they truly care about their clients. Galluzzo and his team were able to overturn and vacate my guilty plea, then taking a big risk where I could have faced a large amount of time in prison Galluzzo took my case to trial. He walked in there with the confidence and swagger as if he already knew everything would work out for me, he laid out every single fact and hole in the prosecutions case to the jury and came away with a full acquittal on every charge after just one hour of deliberations. In an instant, I had my life back! I would most certainly recommend Matthew and his team to anyone in need of legal help. Thanks again Matt! Client
★★★★★
Eric was a great asset to have on my side during a recent case. We had an initial phone discussion in which Eric talked about my specific situation, possible outcomes, and process. He was extremely knowledgeable, diligent and kept me up to speed throughout the ordeal. I would highly recommend Eric if you ever need an attorney in NYC. Client
★★★★★
I want to thank you again for all the energy that you expended on behalf of our children during the weekend – your presence by their sides reassured them throughout this traumatic experience and reduced their suffering. Client
Contact Us
  • Free Consultation
  • Available 24/7
  • Se Habla Español

Fill out the form or call us at (212) 344-5180 to schedule your free consultation.