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?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
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
Criminal Defense Attorney
No. What you did is illegal.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
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.
Family Law Attorney
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.