Knowing the Law: Recorded Evidence

Recording a conversation might seem to be a natural thing to do when you have the feeling there’s going to be a dispute or if you feel that something might be going on behind your back. However, depending on where you live, you could be shooting yourself in the foot should you try to record a conversation using spy voice recorders only to have its admissibility shot down in a court of law. Just because you recorded it doesn’t mean that you can use it.

First, Second, and Third Parties

Whether recordings made with spy voice recorders are even legal depends on what state you live in, and the conditions under which the recordings are made. In some states, you can make recordings of any conversation in which you are a party talking to another person – this is called single party.

In other states, you must advise the person you’re talking to that you want to record the conversation and get their consent to record – this is called two party. In certain states, this applies only to telephone conversations, in other states it can apply to any conversation or communication. Finally, it is often illegal – either a felony or a misdemeanor – for any third party to record any conversation to which they are not a party.

Admissibility in Legal Proceedings

Finally, even if you can obtain a recording, the recording may be inadmissible in a court of law if the recording has not been taken legally. Even if the recording contains evidence that can help your case or prove criminal activity, you may not be allowed to use it. Before you embark on any action to record a conversation or meeting, you should take the time to talk with law enforcement or an attorney about the matter at hand.

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