Florida Recording Law Summary:
Florida recording law stipulates that it is a two-party consent state. In Florida, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record communications, whether they’re wire, oral or electronic, without the consent of everyone taking part in the communication. Fla. Stat. § 934.03(2)(d). This means that in Florida you are not legally allowed to record a conversation you are taking part in unless all parties are in agreement.
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You may not record conversations without the consent of all involved parties, however Florida does have a few specific exceptions.
Florida Recording Laws Exceptions
Florida allows for recording without the consent of all party if certain circumstances are met:
- For law enforcement purposes. This can be someone who is acting in an investigative capacity for law enforcement and has given consent to be recorded.
- For the protection of minors. Any communications involved an unlawful physical or sexual act with a minor under the age of 18 can be legally recorded. The minor must be a party to the communications.
- Public discourse. Recording someone speaking openly in a public space is legal as nobody involved would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Fla. Stat. § 934.02.
Gaining Consent for Recorded Conversations
If you are a third-party and require consent from the parties taking part in the conversation, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that you may gain consent to make a recording by:
- Getting verbal or written consent prior to the recording being made.
- A verbal notification being played before the conversation begins. (For example: “This phone call is being recorded for quality control purposes…”).
- An audible beep tone being repeated at steady intervals during the duration of the conversation.
Florida Video Recording Laws
In Florida, it is lawful to install a video surveillance security system provided that a written notice is conspicuously posted on the premises stating that the security system has been installed for security purposes or provided that it’s installed in a manner that its visibility is clearly and immediately obvious. Fla. Stat. § 810.145(5)(b)(c).
However, it is considered video voyeurism to intentionally use or permit the use of an imaging device (e.g., video camera) to secretly view, record or broadcast a person’s intimate parts or a person who is changing clothes when that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the consent or knowledge of that person . Fla. Stat. § 810.145(2)(a)(b).
It is also illegal to secretly record or view under or through the clothing worn by a person without that person’s consent or knowledge. Fla. Stat. § 810.145(2)(c).
Knowingly disseminating images obtained through video voyeurism is considered as an offense of video voyeurism dissemination. Fla. Stat. § 810.145(3).
Can Audio Recordings be Used in Court?
In order to be admissable in court a recording must be legally recorded, and relevant to the case. If these criteria are met, then to use the recording it must also be authenticated. This means that you must demonstrate that:
- The recording device was in good operating condition at the time of the recording.
- The recording device was operated properly.
- Which would result in an accurate recording.
- Lastly, the voices of the people speaking on the recording must be identified.
Recording a conversation in Florida can result in both criminal and civil penalties. For first time offenses it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail with potential fines of up to $1,000.
Florida Criminal Recording Penalties
Fla. Stat. § 934.03(4)(a): Unless a first offense, and the offender had no illegal purpose or expectation of profit, recording, sharing, or intending to share private communications without the permission of all parties involved is a felony subject to $5,000 in fines and up to five years in prison.
Fla. Stat. § 934.03(4)(b): Regarding a first-time offender who did not intend to use intercepted information illegally or to profit from said information, such crimes are considered a misdemeanor and are subject to fines of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail. This only applies if the recording was not used for any illegal purposes or used to make profit.
Fla. Stat. § 810.145(6)(a): Persons who violate Florida’s video recording laws and are under 19 years of age may be found guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree which carries an imprisonment not exceeding 1 year.
Fla. Stat. § 810.145(6)(b): Persons who violate Florida’s video recording laws and are over 18 years of age may be found guilty of a felony of the third degree which carries an imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.
Fla. Stat. § 810.145(7): Persons with a second or subsequent offense under Florida’s video recording laws may be found guilty of a felony of the second degree which carries an imprisonment not exceeding 15 years.
Florida Civil Penalties
Florida law allows you to obtain damages by filing an Invasion of Privacy Tort if 3 elements have been met.
- There must be a private quarter (not a public space).
- There must be a physical or electronic intrustion in that private quarter.
- The intrusion must be highly offensive to a reasonable person.
If successful the accused may need to pay the victim of the invasion of privacy a sum of $100 for each day of the violation or $1,000 in total – whichever sum is higher.
If someone is using a copyrighted work or recording of yours you may submit a DMCA takedown notice.
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