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If I recorded my husband being abusive because I was in fear, can I use this in court?

Danvers, MA |

I would record my husband being verbally abusive and physically abusive to me and my children. I recorded this because I was in fear for our lives and thought no one would believe me. He is trying to get joint custody. Can these recordings be used in court?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Yes evidence of this nature can be introduced, but I have to advise you to get a lawyer to do this. Introduction of evidence is a special procedure. This evidence may be treated as "hearsay"-- an out of court statement offered into evidence for the truth of its content. The opposing counsel, if any, would object. Your lawyer would need to be able to prove some exception that would allow the material into evidence. As you can tell its very technical.

Try to get counsel. There are a few free legal services that might be able to assist you, if you cannot afford a lawyer. www.masslegalservices.org

This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney

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Asker

Posted

I acutally have an attorney who said it was illegal?

Estela Matta

Estela Matta

Posted

Its very sensitive, but there are exceptions. That's why you have to have a lawyer review it.

Posted

No. What you did is illegal.

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Posted

Secretly recording a oral communication is a violation of the massachusetts wiretap statute, which is a crime. This is true even if the communication was not made over a telephone, or if you did it because you were in fear. Revealing the illegally obtained recording could expose you to criminal charges, initiated by either your husband or by the police.

Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney.

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Estela Matta

Estela Matta

Posted

United States Telephone Recording Laws: Massachusetts requires consent of all parties unless another exception applies (Massachusetts Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 272, Sec. 99).

Estela Matta

Estela Matta

Posted

Of course, we don't know how she recorded the communications. Interception laws apply generally to intercepting telephone recordings.

Dominic L. Pang

Dominic L. Pang

Posted

The statute covers both wire and oral communications: "1. The term “wire communication” means any communication made in whole or in part through the use of facilities for the transmission of communications by the aid of wire, cable, or other like connection between the point of origin and the point of reception. 2. The term “oral communication” means speech, except such speech as is transmitted over the public air waves by radio or other similar device..." "The term “interception” means to secretly hear, secretly record, or aid another to secretly hear or secretly record the contents of any wire or oral communication through the use of any intercepting device by any person other than a person given prior authority by all parties to such communication;" "...Whomever willfully commits an interception, attempts to commit an interception, or procures any other person to commit an interception or to attempt to commit an interception of any wire or oral communication shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned in the state prison for not more than five years..."

Posted

You face potential criminal charges if you did not inform him that you were recording him. MA is a dual-notice state and secretly recording can be a felony.

No attorney-client relationship is created in responding to this question, and advice provided is based solely on very limited facts presented, and therefore may not be correct. You are advised that it is always best to contact a competent and experienced with the practice of law in the county in which you reside.

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