California laws offer vital protections for all citizens, but some laws are fraught with the potential for false, confused, or wrongful accusations that get innocent people in trouble. Peeking while loitering is one such troublesome law.
Defining Peeking While Loitering
Peeking while loitering is a single charge that entails two types of action. First, we have loitering, which is defined as lingering or hanging out on private property without having any evident business to conduct with the property owner. So if a representative from the local government utility department is on private property, then he or she has a visible reason to be there and has evidence of business to conduct on the property and, thus, would not be considered to be loitering. Once their work is done, however, if they linger on the property or delay their exit for no business reason, they can be seen as loitering.
Peeking is the next part of the charge. Peeking falls under the state’s Peeping Tom laws which are in place to make it illegal for people to peek in the windows or doors of a privately owned, inhabited property — unless, of course, they have permission from the owner. There doesn’t need to be any particularly unsavory conduct outside or overly personal activity happening inside the home for someone to run afoul of the peeking laws. Simply peeking into a home to make sure the resident is okay or to verify that someone is home can get you accused of this crime.
Combining these two actions creates the charge of peeking while loitering. It is considered both a potential invasion of a reasonable expectation of privacy and an intrusion and charges can result in both fines and jail time.
Getting Help after a Peeking While Loitering Accusation
We understand that many accused of peeking while loitering in Los Angeles are perfectly innocent of any dangerous, criminal or offensive intentions. A simple misunderstanding between neighbors, contractors and home owners, or visitors can result in charges that don’t reflect the actual intentions of the individual charged with this crime.
Together, we can go over the facts of your case and determine if there are any details that have been overlooked by law enforcement which clear you of the charges. There are a surprising number of incidents and conditions that can quickly clear you of these charges and help you move on with your life. At our firm, we look at the purpose of your visit to the property and determine whether you were really loitering or had actually wandered onto the property — a different circumstance entirely. We will also explore whether the property is, in fact, inhabited and considered private. If it was not considered private property, then there would be no expectation of privacy which can quickly overturn the peeking aspect of the charge. In addition, we will get detailed information about the reasons for your visit in order to assess whether you, in fact, had a completely valid and legal reason to be on the property.
When you are accused of peeking while loitering in Los Angeles, you are not alone. We are there to help defend your innocence and present the facts to the court so that you can get your life back.