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Lucy, Esq.
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is it legal ,in virginia, to spy on husband cell phone,if he

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is it legal ,in virginia, to spy on husband cell phone,if he is cheating

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It would be illegal to, for example, record all conversations made using the cell phone, because Virginia law requires that at least one party to each conversation consent to its being recorded. It would not be illegal to record a conversation that you have with someone, or to ask a friend to record their own conversation with the person.

Virginia law defines "computer" broadly enough to include most smart phones. Code of Virginia, Section 18.2-152.2. Computer trespass prohibits using another person's computer, without permission, for a variety of purposes, including changing, altering or destroying information, or making unauthorized copies. Section 18.2-152.4. Forwarding text messages or copying them would be considered a violation of this section.

A person is considered not to have permission if he knows, or reasonably should know, that he would not be allowed to access the device. Using a computer to examine someone's private information, such as identifying information or financial information, is invasion of privacy, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Section 18.2-152.5. Installing any sort of tracking software would also not be allowed.

The fact that a spouse is believed to be cheating would not be a defense if the person is charged with conduct that falls under the behavior that is prohibited by the statute.

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