Surreptitious Photographing, Videotaping, Filming, Digitally Recording, or Viewing: A.R.S. 13-3019

Surreptitious photographing is illegal.

Surreptitious Photographing, Videotaping, Filming, or Digitally Recording, or Viewing:

A.R.S. 13-3019

Arizona makes it a criminal offense to secretly photograph or film another person in certain circumstances. The same law also makes it a crime to view or publish these same photographs or films.

A.R.S. 13-3019 covers surreptitious photographing or filming, with “surreptitious” being defined by the Oxford Dictionary as anything “kept secret, especially because it would not be approved of.”

This statute makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly photograph, videotape, film, digitally record or by any other means secretly view, with or without a device, another person without that person’s consent under either of the following circumstances:

  • In a restroom, bathroom, locker room, bedroom, or other location where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and the person is urinating, defecating, dressing, undressing, nude or involved in sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
  • In a manner that directly or indirectly captures or allows the viewing of the person’s genitalia, buttock, or female breast, whether clothed or unclothed, that is not otherwise visible to the public.

The statute also makes it unlawful to disclose, display, distribute or publish a photograph, videotape, film, or digital recording made in violation of subsection A of this section without the consent or knowledge of the person depicted.

Excluded from the criminal offense of A.R.S. 13-3019 are the following:

  • Photographing, videotaping, filming or digitally recording for security purposes if notice of the use of photographing, videotaping, filming, or digital recording equipment is clearly posted in the location and the location is one in which the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
  • Photographing, videotaping, filming or digitally recording by correctional officials for security reasons or in connection with the investigation of alleged misconduct of persons on the premises of a jail or prison.
  • Photographing, videotaping, filming or digitally recording by law enforcement officers pursuant to an investigation, which is otherwise lawful.
  • The use of a child monitoring device, as defined by law.

Penalties for Surreptitious Photographing or Filming

  • Class 5 Felony – In most circumstances, violations of this statute are class 5 felonies.
  • Class 6 Felony – Violations that do not involve the use of a device are class 6 felonies, unless the violation is a second or subsequent violation, making it a class 5 felony.
  • Class 4 Felony – If a photograph, videotape, film, or digital recording is disclosed, displayed, distributed, or published in which the victim is recognizable the offense is a class 4 felony.

For first-time offenders, incarceration sentences can be as long as 3.75 for class 4 felonies, 2.5 years for class 5 felonies, and 2 years for class 6 felonies.



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