Is it legal to record a conversation in your own home that you are not a part of but that you can still hear without a device?

Asked over 5 years ago - Arizona

A roommate was spreading rumors and lies about another roommate and concerning me. She came home at nights and would talk about these things loud enough for me to hear every single word spoken and admitted at one point that she was speaking that loud BECAUSE she wanted me to hear it. But what she was saying was lies and whenever my other roommate and I would ask, she would deny what she said or change it. So I recorded the conversation once and let the roommate it was about listen to it. We confronted the girl and just asked her to stop spreading rumors and let her listen to the recording when she tried to deny it. When we were done I promptly deleted it because I had no use for it. Now she's trying to say it was illegal and trying to press charges, is this legit?

Additional information

I read that if the conversation could be heard naturally without the help of an auditory recording device, it was legal to record the conversation. Id this true? And I was present t the time of the recording, but not actually a part of the conversation. And can she really press charges when she admitted she wanted me to hear the things she was saying? And if this is really a law, can you be prosecuted if you had no knowledge of the law and had no idea whatsoever that it could be illegal? And is it really illegal to record something within your own home?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. John M. Kaman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . On your first question, I don't see how she'll get a DA to listen to her if the tape or disc is destroyed. As for the rest, in many states it is illegal to record another person's conversation with you without their consent. In all states it is illegal to record a conversation to which you were not a party.

  2. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . See my Legal Guide Recording Conversations in Illinois

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/recording-...

    You need a lawyer because I do not practice in AZ (I am in Chicago, IL). Check with a lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details. I do not think it is not legal to record a conversation in AZ unless one of the parties give their consent. That is not similar to the rules in my state so check with an AZ lawyer.

    Good luck to you.

    Again, check with a lawyer in your locale.

    NOTE: This answer is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state with whom you have established an attorney client relationship and all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.

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