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Is it legal in CA to audiotape conversation in public place without other's consent?

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  • Is it legal in CA to audiotape conversation in public place without other's consent?

    ^Topic. I'm curious because I know this guy who committed illegal activities.

  • #2
    Tough call...common sense says that a conversation taking place in public should have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

    A serruptitious recording is another matter....but again, in public it's a wobbler.

    The rules say, though, that if the other party sees the recorder and the red lights on, then they should be smart enough to know they are likely being recorded.

    Really, though, we'll need more details on just how the recording was being done.
    "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

    Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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    • #3
      I agree with Kieth. For example, if you have two people in a public place but no one in the vicinity who could over hear, then the conversation is private, but if they are on a bus surrounded by other passengers, then it is not.
      Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
      Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

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      • #4
        Unless a police officer is doing the recording in public...when talking to a copper there is no expectation of privacy.
        sigpic
        Originally posted by Smurfette
        Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
        Originally posted by DAL
        You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

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        • #5
          California is a two party consent state. That is, unless the copper is recording as part of an investigation into criminal activity.

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          • #6
            I agree, need more info
            It's not the will to win that matters...everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters.
            Paul "Bear" Bryant

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            • #7
              Originally posted by FJDave View Post
              Unless a police officer is doing the recording in public...when talking to a copper there is no expectation of privacy.
              I wish we were named in the PC section that gives the permission you're referring to. We need to ask the DA on a case by case basis.
              California is a two party consent state.
              I have to disagree on that point. You don't need someone's consent in any case- Just their knowledge that the recording is occurring. They can shut up or walk away.

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              • #8
                The fourth amendment applies to the government. Not private parties. As a private citizen I can walk around all day recording and taking pictures of whatever and whoever I want.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Signut View Post
                  California is a two party consent state. That is, unless the copper is recording as part of an investigation into criminal activity.
                  Yeah, I have my recorder on all the time at work when I think there's going to be a complaint...cya

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                  • #10
                    Law enforcement can use audio recorders, even if not mutually agreed upon, for administrative reasons at any point. Like Beachcop05 mentioned, they are great to use if you think a contact is going south. There is nothing better than a citizen complaint that is ruled unfounded because your recorder showed that you acted professionally. If you plan on using the recording as evidence in an investigation you must let the person know they are being recorded. Years ago I was first on scene to a 245 and got a dieing declaration from the victim. I recorded her last words in which she told me that her son had shot her on accident while trying to defend her from her husband who was chasing her with a knife. The husband claimed that the opposite had happened; that he was trying to protect her from the son. The recording was instrumental in the investigation. I wasn't working detectives at the time but they were happy I had recorded this.
                    "I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." Winston Churchill

                    Liberals are very broadminded: they are always willing to give careful consideration to both sides of the same side.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the replies!

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                      • #12
                        So how does this apply with the mics and dash cams in vehicles?
                        Professionalism always, courtesy until it's time not to be.

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                        • #13
                          Flyingpig1. You are incorrect if you are in California. There are limits on private citizens recording each other without consent. See 632 PC below.

                          Regarding dash cams and other law enforcement recording we are exempted via language in 630 PC. 632 PC is the wobbler crime which covers one civilian recording a confidential communication without consent.

                          630 PC...
                          The Legislature recognizes that law enforcement agencies have a
                          legitimate need to employ modern listening devices and techniques in
                          the investigation of criminal conduct and the apprehension of
                          lawbreakers. Therefore, it is not the intent of the Legislature to
                          place greater restraints on the use of listening devices and
                          techniques by law enforcement agencies than existed prior to the
                          effective date of this chapter.


                          632. (a) Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of
                          all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any
                          electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records
                          the confidential communication, whether the communication is carried
                          on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a
                          telegraph, telephone, or other device, except a radio, shall be
                          punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars
                          ($2,500), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year,
                          or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
                          ...
                          (c) The term "confidential communication" includes any
                          communication carried on in circumstances as may reasonably indicate
                          that any party to the communication desires it to be confined to the
                          parties thereto, but excludes a communication made in a public
                          gathering or in any legislative, judicial, executive or
                          administrative proceeding open to the public, or in any other
                          circumstance in which the parties to the communication may reasonably
                          expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.

                          If you see me running try to keep up!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LeeRoy View Post
                            Flyingpig1. You are incorrect if you are in California. There are limits on private citizens recording each other without consent. See 632 PC below.

                            Regarding dash cams and other law enforcement recording we are exempted via language in 630 PC. 632 PC is the wobbler crime which covers one civilian recording a confidential communication without consent.

                            630 PC...
                            The Legislature recognizes that law enforcement agencies have a
                            legitimate need to employ modern listening devices and techniques in
                            the investigation of criminal conduct and the apprehension of
                            lawbreakers. Therefore, it is not the intent of the Legislature to
                            place greater restraints on the use of listening devices and
                            techniques by law enforcement agencies than existed prior to the
                            effective date of this chapter.


                            632. (a) Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of
                            all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any
                            electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records
                            the confidential communication, whether the communication is carried
                            on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a
                            telegraph, telephone, or other device, except a radio, shall be
                            punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars
                            ($2,500), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year,
                            or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
                            ...
                            (c) The term "confidential communication" includes any
                            communication carried on in circumstances as may reasonably indicate
                            that any party to the communication desires it to be confined to the
                            parties thereto, but excludes a communication made in a public
                            gathering or in any legislative, judicial, executive or
                            administrative proceeding open to the public, or in any other
                            circumstance in which the parties to the communication may reasonably
                            expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.

                            I didn't know the section and I didn't have time to look it up, but I agree with this post. Joe citizen can't record another joe citizen unless they've given consent.
                            CHICKS DIG IT!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              He asked about recording people in public. Not private conversation.

                              Comment

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