Understand Connecticut State, Federal & Civil Eavesdropping Laws Before Secretly Recording a Phone Call
The best Connecticut divorce and criminal lawyers routinely get calls from husbands and wives in the middle of nasty divorce proceedings who always want to know the answer to this eavesdropping question:
Is it against the law to secretly record my husband’s / wife’s phone calls in Connecticut?
The answer is buried deeply in Connecticut Eavesdropping laws, which I have simplified below:
Under Connecticut State Law, Recording Phone Calls Is Not Always a Crime
As the top Connecticut eavesdropping criminal defense lawyers can explain, Connecticut State Eavesdropping Criminal Laws are governed by Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-189.
Under Connecticut eavesdropping laws, it’s illegal to record a telephone call without the consent of either the sender or receiver. Proving consent is critical so make sure you have the express, spoken consent recorded as well.
Can I Go to Jail in Connecticut for Secretly Recording a Phone Call / Eavesdropping?
Yes. Eavesdropping is a Class D felony in Connecticut. So if you’re arrested and convicted in Connecticut for Eavesdropping under CGS 53a-189, you can go to jail for up to 5 years.
Can I Get Sued Civilly in Connecticut for Secretly Recording a Phone Call?
Yes. Connecticut civil eavesdropping laws are the opposite of Connecticut criminal laws. Civilly, Connecticut is a two-party state. This means that under C.G.S § 52-570d, you need consent from all parties to a recorded conversation. So if someone secretly recorded you without your knowledge and consent, you can sue them for money damages and your attorney fees. Just make sure you have damages before you sue—that is, you must be able to prove to a judge or jury that you lost money (like a job opportunity, or a business deal) because of the illegal recording of your phone conversation.
Federal Eavesdropping Laws – One-Party with an Exception
Federal eavesdropping laws are governed by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (also called the ECPA). The ECPA only requires the consent of one party to a recorded phone call, but the eavesdropping becomes criminal when the recording is used to further a criminal or tortious act. For more on federal eavesdropping laws, check out 18 U.S.C. § 2511(2)(d) or call a top Connecticut criminal or divorce attorney lawyer.
Contact a Connecticut Eavesdropping Lawyer Today
The Michael Cohen / Donald Trump / Stormy Daniels scandal highlights just how important eavesdropping laws can impact personal and professional reputations. So before you even consider secretly recording a phone call in Connecticut, contact one of the Connecticut eavesdropping lawyers at Mark Sherman Law today. See what our prior eavesdropping clients have to say about us on the certified Avvo.com lawyer review website. Then give us a call for a consultation for your eavesdropping questions. We are available 24/7 at (203) 358-4700.