Those accused of voyeurism in Alabama could face harsher penalties

An Alabama man was recently accused of peering over bathroom stalls at women, and the incident is causing one state senator to seek more stringent laws on voyeurism. The Alabama man in question is currently behind bars on charges of criminal surveillance and burglary, charges which are not considered sex crimes.

In Alabama, it is illegal to watch someone, but the act of doing so for sexual gratification does not hold any additional or further consequences. However, with the introduction of Senate Bill 148, there is a push for harsher consequences.

The bill aims at making it an aggravating circumstance to watch someone for sexual gratification. If the bill is passed and a suspect is convicted, they would be forced to register as a sex offender.

It's unclear if the bill will in fact be passed. It will first have to go to committee before it is voted on.

Being forced to register as a sex offender can greatly affect a person's life. People may find it difficult to get a job or rent an apartment. In addition, a person's neighbors are permitted to access their criminal history.

Sex crimes charges are very serious. With the possibility of stricter laws, it is imperative now more than ever before that those accused of committing a sex crime be aware of the relevant laws.

Those facing serious criminal charges may find working with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be beneficial. An attorney can prepare a strong defense against the charges, while working to ensure an individual's rights are protected.

Source: WAAYTV, "Possible change to "Peeping Tom" laws," Hollie Thrasher, Feb. 14 2012

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