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Colorado Recording Laws

Colorado Recording LawsColorado Recording Law Summary:

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-9-304

Colorado recording law stipulates that it is a one party consent state.  In Colorado it is a criminal offense to use any device to record communications whether it’s wire, oral or electronic without the consent of at least one person taking part in the communication.  Albeit there is a caveat in that recording is allowed to take place if there is no reasonable expectation of privacy such as a public place such as a street or park.

This means that in Colorado, you are legally allowed to record a conversation you take part in.

Colorado does have exceptions for news media wherein it states that it’s wiretapping laws are not to prevent “a news agency, or an employee thereof, from using the accepted tools and equipment of that news medium in the course of reporting or investigating a public and newsworthy event” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-9-305.  This statute has a couple caveats in that you must be a member of a news organization, and the recordings must be a public/newsworthy event.

Recording Personal Conversations in Colorado:

You may not record conversations that you are not a part of without the consent of at least one party.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-9-303 Consent is required to record conversations in which there is a legal expectation of privacy, though consent is not required in places where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy such as a street or park.

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

Penalties:

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1.3-401 In Colorado intercepting the contents of any oral or electronic communication without one party consent is a felony.  This can result in penalties of between 12 to 18 months in jail, and a fine of between $1000 and $100,000.

More Colorado Laws