You Can Now Secretly Record the Police
Did you know that you can now secretly record the police without their consent? A new Federal case struck down part of a Massachusetts law that made it illegal to record anybody without their knowledge or consent. This particular law has been around since the sixties. It’s referred to as the Wiretap Statute. It’s Massachusetts General laws, Chapter 272, Section 99. This law makes it a felony to record anybody, including public officials, without their knowledge or consent.
It Only Applies to the Police
This case was decided on First Amendment grounds. The court decided the First Amendment allows people to record the police in public, performing their official duties. That’s the only thing changed. The Wiretap law still applies to everybody else. You can’t record any others without their knowledge or consent. That’s still illegal. That’s still a felony. But you can now record the police in public, performing their official duties. Do not hesitate to use the help of our team of criminal defense attorneys in Woburn.
Holding the Police Accountable
So what’s that mean for you and me? If you get pulled over by the police, feel free to pull out your cell phone and record the stop. You can hide your phone or not while recording. It’s up to you. You have every right to record the encounter. You don’t even have to tell the police officer you’re recording it. If the officer mistreats you during the traffic stop or protest, this will help you hold the officer accountable. It’s a great change in the law. It will help you to protect yourself and your rights.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me. I’ll be happy to speak with you about it.