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Thread: Recording dealings with Police

  1. #1
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    More than once the fine folks on this board have suggested having a small voice-recorder on in the event that any lawful exercise of our rights might provoke an LEO to stop you and engage you in conversation. Several times I've also heard of people being charged with some crime for recording their conversations.

    If say I had a voice-recorder, and an officer stopped me, and I informed him that I would be recording the coversation, would:

    A. Be within the Law:
    B. Would he be able to force me to shut of the recording?

    I live in Florida, but this question doesn't nessecarily apply only to florida.

    Oh, and I know most of you are not lawyers

  2. #2
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    In the Ask LEOa question thread a couple of months ago, I asked the same question. LEO (BIG EGO) 229 answered:



    LEO 229 wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Here's another question for LEO 229, instigated partially by Mercutio's Wal-Mart case. But it is generalized to any law abiding citizen-LEO FTF interaction where the LEO stops a LAC for any official business reason.

    Can a LAC openly record the verbal exchange? Also, can the LAC covertly record the verbal exchange?

    For the purposes of simplicity, let's assume that the turning on of the recording device can be done without bringing in the"if you're reaching in your pocket for a recorder, the LEO might think it is a weapon" tangent. Let's just say that if openly recorded, the activation is done with a slowwww, non-threatening manipulation and, if covertly, by voice operation recording.

    If the recording is legal, will the officerget PO'd? Will the LEO ramp up his concerns about the interaction? Will the LEO just accept the recording? Could the LEOsay he would prefer not to have the recording done?

    Could this recording be used in any complaint, disciplinary proceeding, or civil court case? Could the recording be used by the police in any way, such as charge determination or as evidence in any trial of the recorder?

    Canthe police confiscatethe recording for any reason? Who controls the recording after the interaction is over?

    Yes, In Virginia as long as one of the party knows the recording is being made it is legal. Police here have video cameras with remote mics and they record everything and never tell the driver.


    Will it upset the officer if he knew or was told? Only if hehas is aware that he is notvery professional in dealing with others. I would not care myself. I treat everyone fairly


    Oh Yes... You can play the tape when you file the complaint too.

    No!! The officer CANNOT take the tape from you. He will be in big trouble if he does. That would be an illegal seizure of your property.

  3. #3
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    What level of applicability would this have to Florida?

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    ChronoSphere wrote:
    What level of applicability would this have to Florida?
    It looks like Florida might have a tougher law.

    Section 934.03.3D says:

    (d)It is lawful under ss. 934.03-934.09 for a person to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication when all of the parties to the communication have given prior consent to such interception.(emphasis added)



    You can see the entire Chapter here: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/...934/ch0934.htm



    I do recommend you read the whole thing. I just scanned through it. There may be exceptions or other applicable Code.



    You will also find it helpful to add to your Favorites the FL legislature's home page and the statute finder search engine (its linked to the legislature home page).



    If you want to have some fun, Google the concept of "intercepting" or "recording" oral communications. There are a couple journalism websites that can give more info and links to Federal laws. Its been a while since I looked them up, and didn't save the addresses.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    I don't know the full range of memory chip recording devices out there, but Olympus has quite a nice line of tapeless audio recorders, and Oregon Scientific makes the ATC2000, an audio/video recorder that records to memory cards.

    In researching the ATC2000, I was struck by the number of "helmet cams" and other named devices. Very few such devices currently record to memory chips.

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    BB62 wrote:
    I don't know the full range of memory chip recording devices out there, but Olympus has quite a nice line of tapeless audio recorders, and Oregon Scientific makes the ATC2000, an audio/video recorder that records to memory cards.

    In researching the ATC2000, I was struck by the number of "helmet cams" and other named devices.* Very few such devices currently record to memory chips.
    At the risk of posting a long answer, take a look at Sony. They have some very good pro-sumer solid state recorders and the microphones have greater dynamic range than some of the others. The best recorders are all LEO only.

    Under federal law if the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, you cannot record them unless you are a party to the conversation. State law varies and voice is different than video.

    I am not a lawyer, but I have had a long association with recording devices.

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    I do not know it if would be within the law, sometimes only one party has to consent, other times both parties must consent.

    You could always ask the officer if he consented to the conversation being audio taped, the worst he could say is no, you can always use your right to remain silent if he refuses.

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