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Thread: Legality of voice recorders

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    I wonder, what are the laws regarding recording a police encounter with a voice recorder or video camera in Texas?

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    thx997303 wrote:
    I wonder, what are the laws regarding recording a police encounter with a voice recorder or video camera in Texas?
    http://www.rcfp.org/taping/states.html


    http://www.rcfp.org/taping/quick.html
    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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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link.

    Very useful.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    I wonder, what are the laws regarding recording a police encounter with a voice recorder or video camera in Texas?
    In short, Texas is a one-party state for voice recording. As long as one party involved in the conversation is aware it is being taped it is legal. Now, the party aware of the conversation must remain present throughout the recording or it becomes illegal.

    Therefore, you can carry a tape recorder and tape any conversation you are involved in or a direct (known) witness too. I routinely carrya small digital recorderand I record all encounters that might result in questionable statements or problems. I also keep one in my vehicles and record all traffic stops. Most important, I record all questionable officeencounters and keep them on file for 4 years, which is the statute of limitation in Texas. If there is ever a question about office conduct I have the encounter on file.

    Doc

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    DocNTexas wrote:
    thx997303 wrote:
    I wonder, what are the laws regarding recording a police encounter with a voice recorder or video camera in Texas?
    In short, Texas is a one-party state for voice recording. As long as one party involved in the conversation is aware it is being taped it is legal. Now, the party aware of the conversation must remain present throughout the recording or it becomes illegal.

    Therefore, you can carry a tape recorder and tape any conversation you are involved in or a direct (known) witness too. I routinely carrya small digital recorderand I record all encounters that might result in questionable statements or problems. I also keep one in my vehicles and record all traffic stops. Most important, I record all questionable officeencounters and keep them on file for 4 years, which is the statute of limitation in Texas. If there is ever a question about office conduct I have the encounter on file.

    Doc
    Cite, please.
    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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    Citizen wrote:
    DocNTexas wrote:
    In short, Texas is a one-party state for voice recording. As long as one party involved in the conversation is aware it is being taped it is legal. Now, the party aware of the conversation must remain present throughout the recording or it becomes illegal.
    Cite, please.

    This is covered under the following section of the Texas Penal Code:


    Sec.16.02.UNLAWFUL INTERCEPTION, USE, OR DISCLOSURE OF WIRE, ORAL, OR ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS.

    (a)Definitions..........

    (b)A person commits an offense if the person:

    (1)intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures another person to intercept or endeavor to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication;

    (2)intentionally discloses or endeavors to disclose to another person the contents of a wire, oral, or electronic communication if the person knows or has reason to know the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection;

    (3)intentionally uses or endeavors to use the contents of a wire, oral, or electronic communication if the person knows or is reckless about whether the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection;

    (4)knowingly or intentionally effects a covert entry for the purpose of intercepting wire, oral, or electronic communications without court order or authorization; or

    (5)intentionally uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when the device:

    (A)is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through a wire, cable, or other connection used in wire communications; or

    (B)transmits communications by radio or interferes with the transmission of communications by radio.

    (c)It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (b) that:

    (4)a person not acting under color of law intercepts a wire, oral, or electronic communication, if:

    (A)the person is a party to the communication; or

    (B)one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to the interception, unless the communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing an unlawful act;



    As you can see, only one person involved in the conversation has to know about the recording to be legal.

    Note: Although a recording might otherwise be legal to obtain,if the recording is used for or can be shown that it was intended for use in something otherwise illegal,then it is no longer a legal recording.

    Federal law also dictates that only one party to the conversation know that it is being recorded to be legal.

    Currently, only 12 states in the United States require that all parties know about the recording. These state areCalifornia, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.


    The remaining 38 states and D.C. are one party states.


    Doc



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