Is it Legal to Record a Private Conversation? – A Video Explanation

Frequently we are asked “Is it legal to record a private conversation?” So, in order to best answer this question, we have created a brief and informative video to help you understand the law.

Watch this video to understand when someone has broken to law by recording your conversation. Or, you may be interested in this video so that you don’t accidentally break the law and get yourself in trouble by recording a conversation.

Regardless of you situation, we hope you enjoy and are able to learn something that will help you.

Here is the transcript of the video above:

Hi, my name is Zach Parry. Today I’m going to talk to you a little bit about the law regarding when you can and when you cannot record conversation, legally.

Generally, in the United States there are two camps. There are thirty eight states that are in line with the federal rule that says, in order for to be legal for you to record a private conversation, you have to get the consent of at least one party to the conversation. The other twelve states require, before the recording of a private conversations is legal, consent from every party to the conversation. Nevada fall somewhere in between because Nevada distinguishes between in-person private conversations and wire communications.

So, first I want to talk about wire communications. They are defined rather broadly. It is basically a communication or conversation takes place between two or more parties via wire communication. That could be the telephone, it can be via Skype, it can be via any type of technology that uses wires. Even cell phones ,even though they are wireless, at some point in the communication transfer there is wired technologies. And so cell phones fall into that category.

If it is a wire communications, so if your have a conversation with someone on the phone, you have to get consent of all parties to the conversation for it to be legal. If you do not, it is a felony. So, that’s telephone conversations. Two or more parties. All of the parties to the conversation have consent. Which means they have to know that it is being recorded. If you do not get the consent, not only is it illegal but it is inadmissible in court. Which is often why we are recording. So we have hard evidence of what was said.

The other categories a little bit more lenient. That is in-person conversation. That is, here in same room as some or if you were both outside together. But if you were face to face and talking to each other, then the other party does not need to know that you are recording the conversation for it to be legal and admissible. So take that in mind, if you want to gather evidence, and you don’t want to get consent to the other party, it’s got to be in person because if it’s over the phone, or through some other technology that uses wires, you need all party consent.