Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Los Angeles Paparazzi Laws Updates

Posted on: October 31, 2009 at 3:45 a.m.

The Los Angeles criminal defense attorney team at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin is highly skilled, highly regarded and highly experienced. We've defended some of the most high profile cases in recent history, giving our defense attorney team unique experience. We work hard to keep our eyes on new criminal laws, whether they affect petty theft charges or paparazzi. In Hollywood, attorney teams must stay up to date with all paparazzi laws, especially with a celebrity governor in office.

By the most basic of definitions, paparazzi are photographers who primarily focus their efforts on photographing celebrities. The lives of actors and actresses have long held the interest of the public, leading to the immense popularity of tabloids and gossip columns centered on them. In recent years, however, paparazzi behavior has become increasingly invasive, and even dangerous. While photographing celebrities in a public place such as a restaurant or park is perfectly legal, many celebrities have complained about the intrusion on their privacy, and even successfully sued members of the paparazzi for things like wiretapping their homes and physical altercations. Stories of the well-known having been pursued in cars by the paparazzi, sometimes leading to collisions, abound. Photos taken of celebrities in their most private moments may sell well in tabloids, but cause mountains of embarrassment for the celebrity and their families.

In order to combat the more intrusive members of the paparazzi, the nation’s first anti-paparazzi legislation was signed into law in 1999, making it a criminal offense for a photographer to invade the privacy of the rich and famous by taking unauthorized photos of them in their homes or tapping their phone lines to listen in on their conversations. This first law didn’t seem to be enough to stop the paparazzi, so in 2005, new legislation went into effect that specifically dealt with the more violent photographers who enter into physical altercations with celebrities in their attempts to get photographs of them. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed legislation that also makes it easier for celebrities to sue the media outlets that purchase these photos from the paparazzi and profit from them.

With legislation on their side, the wealthy and well-known are fighting back with both civil suits and criminal charges. Stalking and trespassing are common criminal charges against the photographers. Stalking, legally defined as the repeated harassing or threatening of another person, is either a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense in Los Angeles. Trespassing is the unauthorized intrusion of a photographer that interferes with a person or their property. While typically considered a misdemeanor, stalking carries a penalty of up to six months in a Los Angeles County jail and up to $1,000 in monetary fines. Battery and assault are also frequent byproducts of interactions between the paparazzi and celebrities, and are often serious criminal offenses, punishable by jail time. If you are a photographer and have been accused of a crime involving a celebrity, call Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today. Let us fight for your freedom and good reputation.

Tagged as: los angeles criminal defense attorney, los angeles paparazzi law

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