Nevada law is stringent when it comes to protecting individuals’ privacy. Under NRS 200.604, it is a criminal offense to knowingly capture, distribute, or publish images of another person’s private body parts without their consent in situations where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This legislation underscores the importance of consent and the expectation of privacy in both public and private settings. At ATAC LAW, we strive to provide clear, concise, and valuable legal insights into the complexities of Nevada law, especially concerning privacy violations.

NRS 200.604 | Is it Legal to Capture and Save Someone's Private Images in Nevada?

Can You Legally Record and Share Someone’s Private Moments in Nevada?

In Nevada, the law under NRS 200.604 strictly forbids individuals from deliberately capturing or filming another person’s private areas without their consent, especially in settings where the individual has a rightful expectation of privacy. This includes instances where the person is either nude or wearing undergarments, specifically targeting areas such as:

  • The lower part of female breasts beyond the top of the areola;
  • Genital regions;
  • The pubic area; or
  • The buttocks.

Moreover, NRS 200.604 extends its prohibitions to the act of sharing, distributing, or publishing these images. It is critical to understand that this applies when someone knows or reasonably should know that these recordings were made without the subject’s agreement and infringe upon their privacy.

For instance, imagine Lisa checks into a hotel. An employee, named Tom, chooses to wait outside her door, sneakily recording her in her intimate apparel through the door’s peephole. Tom then decides to show the video to a coworker, named Mike, who goes on to distribute the video amongst their friends.

Given that Tom didn’t acquire Lisa’s approval to record her in a state where she anticipated privacy, he is at risk of facing legal actions for breaching NRS 200.604. Similarly, since Mike was aware that the video was obtained without Lisa’s consent, he too could face charges for circulating the video.

The critical point in this scenario is that the invasiveness of the act and the dissemination of the video warrant legal consequences, regardless of whether Lisa discovers the video’s existence or remains unaffected by it. Tom and Mike’s blatant disregard for privacy and consent is enough ground for potential criminal proceedings.

Are Intimate Images Kept Private in Nevada’s Legal System?

When addressing privacy concerns in legal matters, the court system in Nevada takes extra precautions, specifically in relation to cases involving NRS 200.604 where intimate images or videos are central to the proceedings.

In any legal action where someone is accused of an NRS 200.604 infringement, the judiciary has a mandatory duty to safeguard all personal and sensitive footage from public access. These measures ensure that the confidentiality of such images is maintained throughout the judicial process. Nonetheless, there are circumstances under which these sealed materials might be reviewed or disclosed:

  • If revealing the images is crucial for the investigation or prosecution of the case;
  • If the materials are vital for the accused to construct an adequate defense; or
  • If an individual requesting access to the images can prove that there is a legitimate and compelling reason for their release. In this instance, the affected party must be given fair notice along with the chance to present their views on the matter.

It’s essential to understand that even while these exceptions permit limited access to sensitive content, it is a controlled process, meticulously balanced to protect the privacy of those captured in these images. The court evaluates each request carefully, taking the victim’s privacy seriously. This way, while the justice system operates effectively, the dignity and rights of those involved in cases of alleged privacy violations are also preserved.

What Are the Legal Consequences for Privacy Violations in Nevada?

Navigating the legal ramifications for privacy infringements in Nevada, especially those involving unauthorized capture and distribution of personal images, is critical. Different offences carry varied penalties, depending on the nature of the violation and the offender’s criminal history.

For First-Time and Repeat Offenses
An individual found guilty for the first time under NRS 200.604 faces gross misdemeanor charges. These penalties might include:

  • A jail term of up to 364 days, and/or
  • A maximum fine of $2,000.

However, if the person repeats the offense, the charges escalate to a category E felony. Such a conviction generally results in probation and a suspended sentence, with a potential jail time of up to one year. Should the perpetrator have two or more prior felony convictions, the judicial system might impose a prison term ranging from one to four years, in addition to fines reaching up to $5,000.

It’s crucial to note, in cases where the captured image involves a minor, the offense could be upgraded to producing child pornography under NRS 200.710, potentially leading to a sentence up to life in prison.

Revenge Porn Penalties
The act of electronically sharing or selling intimate images without consent is specifically addressed under “revenge porn” laws. This becomes a category D felony if it meets the following criteria:

  • The act was intended to harass, harm, or instill fear in another person;
  • The individual captured in the image or video did not consent to its distribution;
  • There was a reasonable expectation of privacy concerning the image or video; and
  • The person in the image or video was 18 years or older at the time it was taken.

Conviction under this category can result in incarceration for one to four years and fines up to $5,000, subject to the court’s discretion.

Can a Legal Non-Citizen Face Deportation for Privacy Violation in Nevada?
The legal repercussions of photographing or filming someone’s private areas without consent for non-citizens in Nevada, particularly under NRS 200.604, remain complex and uncertain. Given the potential risk of deportation, it is crucial for any immigrant facing such charges to promptly consult with an attorney who is well-versed in both criminal defense and immigration law. 

What Are the Legal Defenses Against Privacy Violation Charges in Nevada?

In Nevada, fighting accusations of violating privacy laws, particularly under NRS 200.604, involves understanding and potentially using multiple defense strategies. These defenses are essential for individuals accused of unlawfully capturing or disseminating images of someone’s private areas without consent. Here’s a detailed look at viable defense strategies:

1. Consent Was Granted
One of the primary defenses is proving the accused had permission from the subject to take or distribute the photo or video. Evidence such as text messages may demonstrate this consent, although often the consent might have been given verbally without any physical proof.

In these instances, the case might pivot to a he-said-she-said scenario, where the burden of proof lies with the prosecution to show there was no consent. Importantly, consent obtained after the fact does not nullify an offense — permission must be obtained prior to the act.

2. No Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
Under Nevada law, capturing images of individuals in states of undress may not always be illegal if those individuals are in places where they do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Locations might include public beaches, openly visible terraces, stages in strip clubs, and public pool parties. If the defense can successfully argue that the subject was in a public or openly visible location, it could negate the charges.

3. The Image Does Not Include Private Areas
To warrant charges under NRS 200.604, the image must display private areas that are naked or only covered in underwear. Images showing individuals in swimsuits or merely revealing cleavage do not meet this criterion.

Similarly, accusations based on manipulated images (like those altered to appear as if the subject is undressed) are also not valid. If the defense can demonstrate that the images were altered or do not show the requisite nudity, the charges generally should not stand.

4. Lack of Intentional Capturing
Accidentally taking an intimate image is not a crime under Nevada law. For instance, consider someone who unintentionally captures another person in an intimate situation without knowing at the moment — like photographing someone in a public restroom unknowingly.

This scenario might occur if an individual is captured in the background of a selfie without the primary photographer’s knowledge. Proving the lack of intent and knowledge can lead to dismissal of charges.

Are Individuals Convicted of Privacy Violations in Nevada Eligible for Record Sealing?

In Nevada, individuals convicted under NRS 200.604 for privacy violations have the option to petition for a record seal two years after their case concludes. This applies to both gross misdemeanors and category E felonies. Those who have their charges dismissed without a conviction may seek a record seal immediately.

What Legal Consequences Do “Peeping Toms”, Cyber-stalkers, and Cyber-bullies Face in Nevada?

Legal Consequences for Illegal Observation into Dwellings
In Nevada, the act of observing someone’s dwelling without consent, known as peering or spying (NRS 200.603), is taken seriously. The offense ranges from entering another’s property with the intention to spy through any opening of the dwelling. The severity of penalties depends on whether the perpetrator possesses any devices or weapons during the act:

  • With a Deadly Weapon (Category B felony): punishable by 1 to 6 years in prison and fines up to $5,000, at the discretion of the court.
  • With a Camera or Sound Recorder (Gross misdemeanor): carries penalties of up to 364 days in jail and/or fines up to $2,000.
  • Without Recording Devices or Deadly Weapons (Misdemeanor): can result in up to 6 months in jail and/or fines up to $1,000.

Penalties for Cyber-stalking in Nevada
Cyber-stalking involves using electronic means, such as text messages or emails, to instill fear for safety in victims and their families (NRS 200.575(3)). Classified as a category C felony, offenders may face:

  • Between one to five years in prison and fines reaching up to $10,000, dependent on the judge’s ruling.

Implications of Cyber-bullying for Minors
Cyber-bullying (NRS 200.900) is defined as the electronic dissemination of bullying images against minors, aimed at further harming the victim or encouraging bullying. The legal outcomes vary based on the frequency of violations:

  • First Offense: The offender is treated as a “child in need of supervision,” with possible court-ordered corrective measures.
  • Subsequent Offenses: Leads to being declared delinquent, with potential confinement up to 6 months in juvenile detention.

Understanding the legal responses to these offenses highlights Nevada’s stringent measures against violations of privacy and online harassment, reflecting the state’s commitment to protecting the safety and privacy of its residents.

Dealing with charges related to privacy violations can be daunting, but you don’t have to navigate the legal system alone. ATAC LAW specializes in defending those accused of serious offenses, including violations under NRS 200.604. With a team of experienced legal professionals, we’re committed to protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome.

For further legal assistance and to discuss your case with an expert, don’t hesitate to contact ATAC LAW.