Clarifying the Federal Laws Related to Recording Without Permission

Whether your realize it or not, your conversations, messages, activities, and interactions are being monitored every day by cameras, computers, and even your smartphone. It has become a normal part of our day-to-day lives, but that doesn’t necessarily afford us the unrestricted freedom to record others without their permission. In fact, recording a person without their consent could result in a prison sentence of up to five years under federal law.

In this article, a federal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg will cover the federal laws related to recording others without permission. If someone claims that you were recording them without their consent or engaging in an act of voyeurism, a criminal defense lawyer can represent you. We can dispute the facts and circumstances of the charge, your knowledge of any wrongdoing, and the subject’s lack of consent.

The Difference Between Illegal Recording and Voyeurism

Illegal recording can take many forms, but voyeurism is distinct because it includes an additional element of sexuality. 18 U.S. Code § 1801 defines voyeurism as the “intent to capture an image of a private area of an individual without their consent, and knowingly does so under circumstances in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy” The Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004 prohibits individuals from videotaping, photographing, filming, recording, or broadcasting explicit images of another person without their consent. Private areas refer to naked or undergarment clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breasts. 

The penalties for acts of voyeurism can be steep, especially if distribution of explicit images occurs. Leaks are not a rare phenomenon in today’s society. Every year, graphic images of celebrities are released on the internet. Sometimes the intent behind these leaks is malicious, but it can also occur accidentally. A federal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg can argue that you were not responsible for inappropriate pictures being leaked. It may also be possible to dispute that these pictures were taken without consent.

Recording Telephone Calls

Under federal law, telephone calls can be recorded as long as one member of the conversation consents. This is known as a “one-party consent” law. 38 states and the District of Columbia follow this rule, which means the majority of the country permits the recording of telephone calls. However, Florida uses a “two-party consent” law instead. Consult a federal defense attorney in St. Petersburg to learn how this law can affect your ability to record telephone calls (even for professional purposes). 

For a free consultation with a federal defense attorney in St. Petersburg, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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