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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


  1. 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


  2. No. What you did is illegal.

    Criminal Law (all misdemeanor & felonies in District and Superior Courts), Drunk Driving and Drug arrests, Sex Offenses, SORB, Crimes involving Violence or Theft, Domestic (Divorce, Child Custody, Alimony and Child Support) and Family Law (Modification, Contempts & Paternity), Juvenile Law, Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders, Business Law, Personal Injury claims, Probate Law (Guardianships, Conservatorships & Estate Administration) and Legal Malpractice. For these and other areas, contact me. NOTE: This preceding message DOES NOT create an attorney-client relationship. It is not a protected or confidential communication. The statements made herein are not to be interpreted as representations or warranties of any kind. No reliance should be placed on the statements made herein. It is recommended that the recipient(s) should undertake their own research to reach their own opinion. The writer does not accept professional responsibility on this matter. TO CREATE an attorney-client relationship REQUIRES a signed retainer/fee agreement along with a retainer fee that must be received by my office.


  3. 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.


  4. 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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