Is it legal to record audio and/or video of a police officer on public property/your own property?

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Is it legal to record audio and/or video of a police officer on public property/your own property?

Asked on May 28, 2014 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It is legal to video tape on public property or your own property so long as your actions do not interfere with the police officer doing his/her job--if it does interfere, that interference is illegal.

Audiotaping is more problematic, since recording another's conversation come run afoul of "wiretapping" laws. In your state, it would appear to be legal IF you are one of the parties to (participants in) the conversation--so, if the officer is speaking to or with you. You would potentially face liability, however, for recording a conversation in which you are not one of the speakers or participants.  (And again, if your recording interferes with the officer, that interference can result in liability.)


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