North Carolina Recording Laws

North Carolina Recording Law Summary:North Carolina Recording Laws

North Carolina recording law stipulates that it is a one-party consent state. In North Carolina, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record or share 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 North Carolina, you are legally allowed to record a conversation with prior consent from one of the involved parties. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 15A-287 (West 2012).

A North Carolina appellate court determined that implied consent to a recording is established once a party is told they are being recorded and remains a part of the conversation regardless. North Carolina v. Price, 611 S.E.2d 891 (N.C. Ct. App. 2005).

Personal Conversations:

You may not record or share conversations without the consent of at least one party.

However, North Carolina law does make an exception in cases where the person or people communicating are doing so in an environment where they should not be under the expectation of privacy. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 15A-286.

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.

North Carolina Video Recording Laws

It is illegal to secretly install any device for capturing photographic images (videotapes, motion picture, live transmission or photographs) in a room with the intention of capturing a person’s image without that person’s consent for sexual gratification or sexual arousal purposes. For example, installing a device for capturing photographic images in a public restroom or a hotel room is illegal because these are areas where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Also, using a device for capturing photographic images to capture another person’s image while peeping into a room, for sexual gratification or sexual arousal purposes is illegal. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14‐202(d)(f)

It is illegal to secretly peep into a room while being in possession of a device for capturing photographic images. Also, secretly using any device to capture the photographic image of another person underneath or through that person’s clothing to view that person’s body or undergarments, without that person’s consent is illegal. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14‐202(c)(e)

Penalties:

N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 15A-287: The interception of communications in violation of North Carolina law is considered a felony.

N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14‐202(c): Peeping into a room while in possession of a device for capturing photographic images is a Class A1 misdemeanor which carries a punishment of 1 to 150 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment.

N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14‐202(f): Secretly installing or using a device for capturing photographic images to capture another person’s image for sexual gratification or arousal purposes is a Class I felony which carries a sentence of 3 to 12 months.

N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14‐202(e): Recording a person underneath or through that person’s clothing is a Class I felony.

N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14‐202(g): Possessing photographic images obtained in Violation of North Carolina’s video recording laws is a Class I felony.

N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14‐202(h): Disseminating or allowing the dissemination of materials obtained in violation of North Carolina’s video recording laws without the consent of the person depicted in the materials is a Class H felony which carries a sentence of 4 to 25 months.

2 Comments

  1. Jessica Kuhr

    who do i talk to about being recorded in a private bedroom without my permission by a third party or by landlord when they are purposely concealing it for ill will

    Reply
    • Adam

      Speak with the police first in an area where you know you aren’t being recorded so you are able to show them before the device is removed. This is illegal on many levels especially from a landlord. Then speak with a lawyer.

      North Carolina is a one party consent state and they do not have your consent.

      As well, in a bedroom there is an expectation of privacy – N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 15A-286.

      The only places a landlord would be able to put a camera would be in common areas such as hallways or entrances, in this case the cameras must be visible…and not done with the intent to hide.

      Since North Carolina is a one party consent state any cameras put in place for security reasons (in common areas or entrances), should be video only and not record audio.

      To reiterate, it is ILLEGAL to have cameras in any private spaces.

      Reply

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