Darien Eavesdropping Lawyer
A Darien eavesdropping lawyer could help if you are trying to determine whether it is okay to record a call in a particular case or if you have been accused of criminal eavesdropping. Reach out to a top defense attorney to discuss your case.
What are Connecticut’s Laws Against Eavesdropping?
Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-189 prohibits “wiretapping” and “mechanical overhearing of a conversation” unless these actions are conducted in a situation where they are authorized by law.
Under C.G.S. §53a-187, mechanical overhearing of a conversation occurs when someone intentionally listens to or records a conversation with equipment and without the consent of at least one person to that conversation. Therefore, in defense, a Darien attorney could argue that the alleged eavesdropping was either unintentional or performed with adequate consent. An attorney could also argue that recording or listening in was undertaken with legal authority.
Wiretapping is defined as recording or overhearing a phone conversation, including cell phone conversations. As with the mechanical overhearing of a conversation, the actions must be intentional, unlawful, and lack the consent of one party in order to constitute a violation.
What are the Penalties for Eavesdropping?
Eavesdropping is treated as a Class D felony punishable by up to $5,000 in fines and a prison sentence up to five years. A Darien eavesdropping lawyer may be able to present mitigating circumstances to justify lower or alternative penalties.
Even if an individual is not found guilty of a criminal eavesdropping offense, they may still be found liable if sued in civil court for recording a phone conversation. Exceptions apply if the person recording the conversation has been subjected to repeated annoying calls or threatening phone calls.
Could I Be Civilly Liable for Illegal Recording?
Yes. C.G.S. §52-570d allows an individual to sue for “illegal recording of private telephonic communications.” If a court finds someone liable, the aggrieved party may recover monetary damages as well as court costs and attorney’s fees. A Darien eavesdropping lawyer could investigate to locate evidence to defend against both criminal and civil actions.
Unlike the criminal statute, the civil statute requires the consent of all parties to a conversation to avoid a violation. However, the statute only applies to recording of the conversations and not overhearing of conversations. Also, it is possible to avoid liability under the statute by either providing a verbal notification of recording or an automatic warning tone at 15-second intervals.
Work with an Experienced Darien Eavesdropping Attorney
If you are facing accusations of eavesdropping, a Darien eavesdropping lawyer could help you understand the potential ramifications and your options for defense. A dedicated defense attorney could also fight to protect your rights.
Eavesdropping is prosecuted as a felony under both state and federal laws. However, with the right evidence and defense strategy, it may be possible to achieve a positive outcome. Contact an experienced eavesdropping attorney at Mark Sherman Law to discuss your case.