Ohio Recording Law Summary:
Is Ohio a One Party Consent State?
Ohio recording law stipulates that it is a one-party consent state. In Ohio, 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 Ohio, you are legally allowed to record a conversation if you are a contributor, or with prior consent from one of the involved parties, barring any criminal intentions. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2933.52 (West 2012).
Our recommended Digital Voice Recorder.
Consent of at least one person of an in-person conversation is required to record a conversation with an expectation of privacy.
You may not record, obtain, share or use conversations that you are not a part of without the consent of at least one party.
However, Ohio 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. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2933.51.
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.
Ohio Video Recording Laws
It is illegal to trespass or secretly invade the privacy of another person to videotape, film, photograph, or otherwise record that person in a state of nudity for sexual gratification purposes. For example, recording someone who is using a public restroom is illegal because that is place where people expect privacy and maybe in a nude state. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.08(B)
No person is allowed to secretly videotape, film, photograph, or otherwise record another person through or under that person’s clothing with the intention of viewing that person’s body or undergarments. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.08(D)
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2933.52: Recording a conversation in violation of Ohio law is a felony.
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.08(E)(3)(5): Illegally recording another person who is in a state of nudity is a misdemeanor of the second degree which is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days. If the person is a minor, the offense is classed as a felony of the fifth degree which is punishable by imprisonment of 6-12 months or a fine not exceeding $2500 or both.
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.08(E)(4): Recording through or under another person’s clothing is a misdemeanor of the first degree which is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 180 days.
FAQ Ohio Recording Law Questions
Ohio does not have any specific laws regulating the use of surveillance video, so instead it comes down to the legality of surveillance cameras as they relate to other laws. The two laws that most often apply to surveillance video
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.08(D) – Ohio’s hidden camera law makes it illegal to secretly videotape, film, photograph, or otherwise record another person. This means that a camera can not be place in an area where it intentionally records someone in a state of undress.
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2933.52 – The states wiretap make it illegal to intercept oral communication in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the consent of at least one party. This law is often nullified as many surveillance cameras do not record audio to avoid this situation. If your camera is recording audio then it must be publicly placed where there is no expectation of privacy.
There are many methods to transcribe audio. You can do it yourself simply in a word document, hire someone to transcribe it, or use an audio transcription service. We recommend using this transcription service because they combine the accuracy of humans with the cost-effectiveness of AI. The turn around time is 12 hours and if necessary you can have them sign a standard NDA.
You have a First Amendment right to be able to videotape police officers working in an official capacity. This means that the officer does not have the right to delete your pictures or videos. One thing to keep in mind is that you are not able to break any laws while filming, this includes trespass on private property, obstructing law enforcement officers, or any other laws that may be applicable. It is best practices to film law enforcement officials with your recording device openly displayed (not in secret) as the law may get murkier in some states if you are privately recording audio where there may be an expectation of privacy.