Can You Record a Conversation and Use it as Evidence in Court?

Omarosa Manigault Newman became famous as a contestant on the first season of NBC’s reality television series “The Apprentice.” Then she became a special aide to President Donald Trump when he got elected. But soon after, she got involved in various conflicts in the White House, which caused President Trump to fire her. Omarosa’s firing caused the relationship between her and the President to sour. She later revealed that she had secret recordings of the President saying some controversial things. She threatened to leak the tapes to the media. The President threatened to sue her. She later published the recordings in her book called “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.”

The law says one must give consent in order for the recording to be recognized as a legal in court proceedings. Although President Trump may have had just caused to sue Omarosa, winning a case against her would not have been as easy as it may seem. The ride usage of the internet and the popularity of YouTube, Facebook, and other social media platforms have made it possible for everything to be recording at every moment of our lives. Because of this, the courts are constantly reviewing the boundaries between public and private conversations.

The Federal and state government have varying rules when it comes to the recording of a conversation but below are the general guidelines both the Federal and state government agree upon. Keep in mind, any attorney will challenge every recording when it comes to defending their client and a prosecutor will certainly do the same in supporting of the state.

In order to be considered legal in the eyes of any court, a recorded conversation one must:

The voice on the tapes must be authenticated, meaning you must be able to demonstrate that the voice in the recording belongs to the person you are claiming it to be and not someone impersonating that person.

Show that the recording device used is capable of making an accurate recording and cannot be manipulated. Which means you must verify that the recording has not been tampered or altered in any form.

Prove that the recording is a true and accurate representation of the conversation.

Prove your intent of the recording was not to cause malice.

The recording must be of quality, meaning the conversation must not cut in and out. The sound of the wind, the noise of traffic or multiple conversations going on at the same time makes for an unreliable recording.

Every case that is presented in a court room is different. When it comes to the legality of recording conversations and using them as evidence, it’s always best to seek the advice of an attorney. Contact us at Carlos Gonzalez Law to see what you can and cannot use as evidence in court. (786) 358-6888