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Audio recording of a conversation under WA state law, RCW 9.73.030 consent to recording communication

Washington |

is that legal to audio recording my conversation to the policeman face to face in the public place in state Washington?

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Attorney answers 2


You can read RCW 9.73.030 (Intercepting, recording, or divulging private communication – Consent required – Exceptions) to see what you propose to do is governed by the statute. The statutes can be accessed here: .

You can read the opinion of the WA Supreme Court in STATE v. TOWNSEND, 147 Wn.2d 666, 57 P.3d 255 (2002):

The subjective intention of the parties to the communication is among the factors that the court may consider in determining if a communication is private. A court may also consider other factors bearing on the reasonableness of the participants' expectations, such as the duration and subject matter of the communication; the location of the communication and the presence of potential third parties; and the role of the nonconsenting party and his or her relationship to the consenting party.


I believe Washington like Illinois and California's laws prohibits the recording of "confidential communications" unless all parties to the conversation consent.

See my Legal Guide Recording Conversations in Illinois

You need a lawyer because I do not practice in WA (I am in Chicago, IL). Check with a lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details. I agree with the observations of Mr. Thuong-Tri Nguyen.

Good luck to you.

Again, check with a lawyer in your locale.

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