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A closer look at Florida law and the use of recording devices

While advances in modern technology have served to enhance our lives to a considerable degree, they are not without their pitfalls. Indeed, now more than ever we have to be concerned about our privacy thanks to everything from high-definition cameras small enough to fit inside pens to the voice recording software found on almost all smartphones.

The good news is that the law here in Florida does provide people with a considerable degree of protection when it comes to the interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications.

In today's post, the first in a series, we'll take a closer look at what the law has to say concerning in-person conversations and electronic communications.

In-person conversations and electronic communications

In general, the state's eavesdropping law dictates that all parties to in-person conversations must provide their consent to being recorded. For example, if you were to record a conversation with a business partner with whom you'd been feuding, the partner would need to be informed and their permission secured before proceeding. Failure to do so could result in criminal liability.

It's important to understand, however, that this does not apply to those persons lacking a reasonable expectation of privacy in making the communication. For example, no permission would need to be secured to record the speech being given by a city official at the opening of a new facility.

As for electronic communications, it is similarly illegal under Florida law to record or eavesdrop on emails, texts, phone conversations and other digital messages without the consent of all parties to these conversations.

In our next post on this topic, we'll discuss what state law has to say concerning video surveillance cameras, and the criminal penalties that can result from illegally recording or disclosing any of the aforementioned communications.

Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible if you are facing any sort of criminal charges -- felony or misdemeanor

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