Michigan Eavesdropping Laws – When is it Okay to Record a Conversation
Editor’s Note: Our law firm does not handle cases regarding eavesdropping. We provide this information on our website because as a law firm we feel it is important to educate the public as much as we can about state law. For more resources on attorneys who may be able to help you in this area, click here.
With advancements in technology and tiny computers ready to record in almost everyone’s pocket, the issue of eavesdropping is becoming more and more of a concern. Tom Sinas recently discussed Michigan eavesdropping laws on Fox 17’s Know the Law. What you can and can’t record, with or without permission, might surprise you. Check it out.
Michigan Eavesdropping Laws
You might be surprised to find out that Michigan eavesdropping laws have been around for a long time. In the past, this might have been a seemingly insignificant issue, but now, with advancements in technology, eavesdropping is somewhat back in the spotlight. Eavesdropping in Michigan is actually a felony and can subject a person to civil liability. While Michigan has its own eavesdropping laws, similar laws vary from state to state, and there is also a different federal law regarding the issue.
Eavesdropping – When it Becomes a Crime
Eavesdropping, at its core, means recording and resharing any part of a private conversation between others without their permission. However, Michigan has what is known as a one-party consent law. With regard to eavesdropping, this means that only one party must give consent for the recording of their conversation. If a third-party is recording two people without their knowledge or consent, then it becomes an eavesdropping violation.
One reason there isn’t a flood of eavesdropping cases in Michigan is that there must be proof of willful eavesdropping. Many devices are automatically recording and may just so happen to pick up incriminating behavior. This may not have happened intentionally, therefore the burden of proving willfulness becomes more difficult.