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Is It Legal To Record Phone Calls In Michigan

As a Michigan criminal lawyer I am often asked the question, is it illegal to record phone calls in Michigan if the other person on the phone doesn’t know it is being recorded?

The answer is no. The Michigan Court of Appeals held that it is not prohibited for a party to record a telephone conversation without the consent of all participants involved in the conversation. The case that addressed this ruling was Sullivan v Gray, 117 Mich.App. 476 (1982).

Michigan Criminal Lawyer on Eavesdropping

Michigan statute MCL 750.539c is the eavesdropping statute. It states:

Any person who is present or who is not present during a private conversation and who wilfully uses any device to eavesdrop upon the conversation without the consent of all parties thereto, or who knowingly aids, employs or procures another person to do the same in violation of this section.

The penalty under this statute is a felony, punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for up to 2 years or by a fine of up to $2,000.00, or both.

A quick read of the statute may lead some people to believe that any recording of a conversation is illegal. However, the Michigan Court of Appeals interpreted the statute to mean that the eavesdropper must be by someone not involved in the conversation that is being eavesdropped on. Another words, for a person to be punished under the eavesdropping statute they must not have been one of the people involved in the conversation.

Be careful, you never know if the person you are speaking to is recording the conversation, and if they are there may not be much you can do about it.

Michigan Criminal Lawyer

If you have been charged with eavesdropping contact Michigan criminal lawyer, Aaron J. Boria. Mr. Boria has appeared in courts all over the state of Michigan on criminal matters. At Aaron J. Boria, PLLC, we fight for your clients and we protect their future. Call (734) 453-7806 today for a free consultation.