Peeping / Prying - Armstrong Legal

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Peeping / Prying


In NSW it is an offence to be in a building, or near a building, with the intention of looking, peeping or prying upon another person. The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 penalty units and/or 3 months imprisonment.

The Offence of Peep or Pry

The offence of Peep or Pry is contained in section 547C of the Crimes Act 1900 and states:

Any person who is in, on or near a building without reasonable cause with intent to peep or pry upon another person shall be liable on conviction before the Local Court to imprisonment for 3 months, or to a fine of 2 penalty units.

What Actions Might Constitute the Offence of Peep or Pry?

Examples of Peep or Pry include:

  • Looking through the window of your neighbours house to watch them while they are getting changed;
  • Loitering around an office building with the intention of looking through windows and doors to see the people inside; and
  • Peering over an adjoining wall in a townhouse to watch your neighbours.

What the Police Must Prove

To convict you of Peep or Pry the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you were in or near a building;
  • That you did, or had the intention to, peep or pry upon another person;
  • That you had no lawful excuse for doing so.

Possible Defences

The common ways to defend this charge are:

  • To argue that you were not in or near a building;
  • To argue that you had a reasonable excuse for being in or near a building;
  • To argue that you did not intend to peep or pry upon another person.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

The charge is a summary offence which means that the matter must be finalised in the Local Court.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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