Invasion of privacy in the State of West Virginia is only a misdemeanor. West Virginia code §61-8-28 states, “It is unlawful for a person to knowingly visually portray another person without that other person’s knowledge, while that other person is fully or partially nude and is in a place where a reasonable person would have an expectation of privacy.” Even the federal Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004 only provides for a misdemeanor.
What happens if someone violates the invasion of privacy law? They get, at maximum, one year in a county or regional jail and/or fined – at most – $5,000. The only time breaking this law becomes a felony is if the ‘pervert’ is a repeat offender. Even then, the maximum time served is five years and the fine is at maximum $10,000.
So what can you do if you have been a victim of a ‘pervert’ that secretly records/photographs you when you think you are in private? (The private location could even be the bathroom in your own home.) What options do you have if the criminal justice system lets you down?
The only recourse you may have is to file a civil action in Court. Thankfully, West Virginia’s law recognizes that invasions of privacy allow for a civil action to filed against the perpetrator. As West Virginia’s Supreme Court indicates, failing to allow a citizen to file a lawsuit for invasion of privacy “would effectively deny valuable rights and freedoms to the individual.”
If you or someone you love suspect you have been a victim of the Invasion of Privacy Law in West Virginia, contact an experienced trial attorney to find out your rights. The Miley Legal Group provides free case evaluations in our service area.