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Illinois Recording Laws

Illinois Recording Law Summary:

Illinois recording law stipulates that it is a two-party consent state. In Illinois, 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. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/14-2(a)(1). This means that in Illinois you are not legally allowed to record a conversation you are taking part in unless all parties are in agreement. Although the all-party consent stipulation does not apply to police officers who are performing their official duties, there are strict penalties in place for anyone caught recording police activities in public. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/14-3(g).

Personal Conversations:

You may not record conversations without the consent of all involved parties.

This law is applicable whether those taking part in the conversation expect it to be private or not. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/14-1(d).

Penalties

720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/14-4: Infractions against eavesdropping law are considered felonies, however first offenses are treated as lighter, Class 4 felonies.

720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/14-4(b): Offenses are considered a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in jail if a recording takes place while a member of law enforcement, assistant’s state attorney or judge are carrying out their duties in public.*

*In 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago (7th Cir.), put the constitutionality of this law up for debate. They decided that parts of Illinois’ Eavesdropping Act are “likely unconstitutional” and that the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois could not face penalties for recording police activity in the public eye. ACLU of Illinois v. Alvarez, 679 F.3d 583 (7th Cir. 2012).

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