West Virginia Recording Law Summary:
Is West Virginia a One Party Consent State?
West Virginia recording law stipulates that it is a one-party consent state. In West Virginia, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record or share use 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 West Virginia, 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. W. Va. Code § 62-1D-3 (2012).
You may not record or share conversations that you are not a part of without the consent of at least one party.
However, West Virginia 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. W. Va. Code § 62-1D-2.
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.
West Virginia Video Recording Laws
It is unlawful to photograph, videotape or reproduce the image of another person by any means while that person is in a state of full or partial nudity and in a place where a reasonable person would have an expectation of privacy, without the knowledge of the person concerned. W. Va. Code § 61‐8‐28(b)
For example, it is illegal to surveil a person in a restroom or changing room because that person may be fully or partially nude and is in place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
W. Va. Code § 62-1D-3: Recording a conversation in violation of West Virginia law is considered a felony.
W. Va. Code § 61‐8‐28(c): Violating West Virginia video recording laws is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $5000, or both.
W. Va. Code § 61‐8‐28(d): For second and subsequent convictions under the state’s video recording laws, the offender may be found guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment of 1-5 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000, or both.