In the beginning years of his first term, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. initially followed much of the policy of his predecessor, Robert Morgenthau. Over time, Vance tweaked what he believed needed tweaking and completely changed what he believed needed changing. Some crimes were prosecuted more vigorously while others may have been held to a lesser standard or bar. Right or wrong, better or worse, if you are in Manhattan and you are accused of or arrested for certain crimes, be prepared to fight what may be the very firm hand of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. One such crime that was always prosecuted in a zealous manner, and still is today, is that of Unlawful Surveillance in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law 250.45. I have blogged about this crime and have drafted material about this offense on the New-York-Lawyers.org website because it is a crime that not only has direct consequences in terms of incarceration as a felony, but collateral penalties that could be career and life changing.
Pay very close attention. If nothing else, understand that if you are convicted of PL 250.45, Second Degree Unlawful Surveillance, you may be required register as a sex offender. What you may think was a harmless prank or something for your eyes only, is an offense that you may never walk away from. Registration as a sex offender would not only brand you a “pervert” in the eyes of friends, neighbor and colleagues when your registry information was disclosed, but your career could be derailed. Not to knock a guy while he is down and out, just ask a former Mount Sinai urologist who was sentenced earlier today. While many people likely supported him as an otherwise good person, skilled physician and asset to his community, he will likely be reeling from his Second Degree Unlawful Surveillance conviction for years to come. Even though this doctor was not required to register, he lost his position at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
While there are many different subsections of Second Degree Unlawful Surveillance in New York, you are guilty of NY PL 250.45(4), just as this particular physician, when without the knowledge or consent of a person, you intentionally use or install, or permit the utilization or installation of an imaging device to surreptitiously view, broadcast or record, under the clothing being worn by such person, the sexual or other intimate parts of such person other intimate parts of such person.
Whether you are filming up a woman’s skirt as she walks up the subway stairs or you set a camera or recorder up in the changing room or bathroom, remember this before you press the little red button and let me repeat myself. If you are convicted of Second Degree Unlawful Surveillance there is a strong likelihood that you will either be sentenced to up to one and one third to four years in prison or probation, you will face the potential of being forced to register a sex offender and your career could end up in tatters. Commit this crime in Manhattan, or any jurisdiction for that matter, the District Attorney’s Office will draft a search warrant and access whatever images or videos you have stored (and even possibly deleted) and try to charge you with additional crimes.
To read about Unlawful Surveillance in the Second Degree, utilize the materials provided in this entry and through the sites below.
Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense firm located in New York City. Saland Law PC’s two founding New York criminal lawyers served as prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.