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In Florida, May I record an officer during a traffic stop?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

Could I face any charges if I used the voice recorder on my phone to record the conversation between myself and the officer pulling me over? I do know that florida is an "all-party consent" state, however, on public roads, would this hold true? Is there a "reasonable expectation of privacy" when the officer has video surveillance to begin with?

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Attorney answers 1


This is a dicey question to answer and I have to be careful. I once handled a case where a pawn broker left a video camera running on his file cabinet while police detectives were harassing him in his shop. When they found out that it was running they arrested him and charged him with a third degree felony. I argued that public officials in the course of carrying out their official duties have no reasonable expection of privacy. The statute doesn't actually say that. What is says is, "...any oral communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation and does not mean any public oral communication uttered at a public meeting. . . . " FS 934.02(2)

Well, my case never got to court because my client "chickened out" and decided not to take the risk. He pled to a misdemeanor and a small fine. The answer to your question is somewhere in there. If you do it, you do it at your own risk. You may win in the end but is it worth the fight?

This is given for informational purposes only and it is most decidedly NOT legal advice.

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