Susan Aguayo Miley
Client Relations Manager and Marketing Director

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. 
5 Comments
Wow, isn't much for the "pervert" huh... I get on here to get answers for a grown man (close family friend) they live with taking "secret" photos of my sisters and find next to no answers... To make matters worse, the police won't do anything right now because they dont have the resources at this present time and no other law enforcement agency can step on their toes. Oops... did I say law "enforcement"? I meant law "get to it when we feel like it at our own convienece".
by Michael June 23, 2011 at 05:50 PM
That is a nearly unbelievably low maximum. It certainly isn't going to frighten away stalker types. Maximums should have a deterrent effect and not seem to say "this crime isn't all that bad." What sort of reasoning is there for the max to be so low? I'm glad that there is a West Virginia attorney out there who pays attention to these kinds of things.
by Charley September 12, 2010 at 08:26 AM
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. It is crazy that there are not harsher criminal penalties for these crimes. If it happened to my family, I would want someone to throw the book, so to speak, at the pervert. At least their is the right to go after them in a civil court. They can run, but they can't hide!
by Mark September 9, 2010 at 06:49 AM
You are truly on the cutting edge with this. I know you will do everything you can to protect those whose rights have been violated.
by Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer September 8, 2010 at 07:38 PM
These "voyeurs" are the lowest form of life. Sadly, it appears the criminal justice system does TOO LITTLE to punish them. To really make them feel the hurt they have caused, I say take everything they've got since they've have taken other people's security, privacy and dignity.
by Doug August 31, 2010 at 03:45 PM
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