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lwpat, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Practicing criminal defense attorney
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During a police stop, can I record the encounter with my phone?

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During a police stop, can I record the encounter with my phone? Audio or video?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  lwpat replied 4 years ago.
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Utah Code Ann. § 77-23a-4: An individual legally can record or disclose the contents of any wire, oral or electronic communication to which he is a party, or when at least one participant has consented to the recording, unless the person has a criminal or tortious purpose in making the recording.

Under the statute, consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. See definition of "oral communication," Utah Code Ann. § 77-23a-3.

Unlawful interception of communications, including disclosure of the contents of a communication with reason to know of the illegal origin, is a felony -- except that when the communication consists of the radio portion of a cellular telephone call, it is a misdemeanor. Civil liability for unlawful interception can include the greater of actual damages, mandatory damages ranging from $50 to $1,000 depending on whether it is a first or subsequent offense, $100 per day of violation or $10,000. Utah Code Ann. § 77-23a-11 (1999).

Installing a hidden camera or audio recorder to tape a person in a "private place" without consent is a misdemeanor. Utah Code Ann. § 76-9-402. A "private place" is a place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from intrusion or surveillance. Utah Code Ann. § 76-9-401.


there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in a traffic stop so you can legally record. You see it on TV all the time.

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