People are using audio evidence in legal proceedings more than ever before in the history of litigation. Our electronic society involves many recording devices such as:
- Voice mail
- Smart phones
- Digital voice recorders
Because these devices are so affordable and readily available, victims of unlawful acts in civil and criminal litigation have turned to digital voice recorders to capture conversations and use those recordings in court to bring out the truth of the disagreement or dispute.
Before you begin recording your conversation for court, keep in mind these very important facts:
- Make sure you are part of the recording. It is a violation of eavesdropping laws to hide an audio recording device anywhere, including your own home, and record any conversation that you are not a part of.
- Try to have your conversation outside of a restaurant or coffee shop environment. I have worked on many audio clarification cases that required serious work to enable a listener to hear the voices engaged in the conversation.
- Use digital recording equipment with built-in microphones, remotes or smart phones. Better microphones make it easier to authenticate the evidence because you can keep the original on the recorder.
- Always keep original recordings so they can be authenticated.
By following the four guidelines above, you can present the court with authentic recordings that have been made lawfully.