If you have been charged with a crime and you discover someone recorded something you said that connected you to the crime, you may have a way out of the case if the recording was done illegally. There are some legalities when it comes to recording someone with the attempt to prove guilt. Here are some things you need to know:
How Does the Law Impact Recordings?
Both federal and state law dictates how one can utilize the recording of other people with the purpose of gaining evidence for a crime. Each state has different laws when it comes to the legality of a recording. The federal laws then apply if it provides additional protections for privacy.
According to federal law, secret recordings of other people is prohibited if the other party is not aware the recording is taking place. However, there are some exceptions to the law. If you were speaking with someone and he or she disclosed the recording of the conversation at the end and you then consented to the recording after the fact, the call can be used as evidence. Also, any party who has legal authority to record someone secretly, such as a detective or law enforcement official, can use the recorded words as evidence.
Can Another Party Get into Legal Trouble for Recording You?
If your private conversation was recorded as evidence against you and the recorder violated the law to do so, there can be several legal issues forthcoming. Some penalties can include fines, jail time, or a lawsuit from the party who was secretly recorded. Many states will have different penalties for a secret recording. The penalties range from misdemeanors to more serious charges.
If someone records you and uses the information against you in a criminal proceeding, you can file a civil lawsuit against that person as long as you did not consent to the recording. If the judge determines the recording was unlawful, you can receive thousands in damages in addition to your court costs.
The secret recording of anyone without his or her consent is not ideal and can result in severe penalties. If you believe someone used recorded information against you, you need to speak to your criminal defense law attorney right away, not only to get the criminal charges dropped, but also to possibly file a civil suit for your damages. If you spend time in jail based solely on illegally recorded evidence, you may be able to have your record cleared.