Ever since cell phones started being made with built-in cameras, the phenomenon known as “upskirting”-secretly taking a photograph or video up a woman’s skirt-has become increasingly popular. In the era of seemingly unlimited connectivity, people can share photos instantaneously, without giving it a second thought.

Some offenders of upskirting may consider this behavior to be nothing more than a prank or practical joke. And while upskirting is still legal in many states, it has been outlawed in others-and the severity of penalties varies greatly by state.

The law in Arkansas

According to Ark. § 5-16-101, it is illegal to secretly use a photographing or recording device of any kind:

· In order to view another person’s intimate parts

· Without that person’s knowledge or consent

· In a situation where that person has a reasonable expectation to privacy

The above offense is considered a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by:

· Up to $1,000 in fines and/or

· Up to 90 days in jail

In many cases the perpetrator of the above crime goes on to share or distribute the photo/recording (e.g., email it to a friend, post it on the internet). In the eyes of the law, such behavior bumps the offense up to a Class A misdemeanor, and the penalty becomes more severe:

· Up to $2,500 in fines and/or

· Up to one year in jail

It’s important to know that, from a legal standpoint, upskirting is a serious crime that has serious consequences. By understanding the law, you can avoid pranks that could land you behind bars.