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Delaware Recording Laws

Delaware Recording Law Summary:

Delaware recording law stipulates that it is a one-party consent state. In Delaware it is a criminal offense to use any device to record communications, whether they are wire, oral or electronic, without the consent of at least one person taking part in the communication.
This means that in Delaware, you are legally allowed to record a conversation you take part in. However, the law is somewhat unclear as a state privacy law forbids the interception of private communication without the consent of everyone involved. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1335(a)(4). Ultimately, as the wiretapping law is far more recent, at least one federal court has determined that despite the privacy law, you can still record conversations you’ve taken part in. United States v. Vespe, 389 F. Supp. 1359 (1975).

Personal Conversations:

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

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:

Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 2402(b): Illegally intercepting a conversation or disclosing information about an illegally recorded conversation is considered a felony and is subject to fines of up to $10,000 and a maximum of five years in prison

Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 4206: Hiding a recording device in a private place is considered a misdemeanor and is subject to fines of up to $2,300 and a maximum of one year in jail.

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