Fort Lauderdale In-Squad Videos Attorneys
Law enforcement has become a hotly contested topic in recent years, largely due to the widespread use of smartphones that allow anyone to videotape at any time. However, while video footage of law enforcement officers is becoming more common, it is important to question the legality of videotaping a police officer while in their squad car.
Officers often state that it is illegal to videotape them, usually while they are asking someone to put their phone away. An officer may even threaten to arrest you if you continue recording them. If a police officer has taken your phone or placed you under arrest, it is important to speak to our Fort Lauderdale in-squad videos attorney.
In-Squad Videos Do Not Violate the Two-Party Consent Law
Although the majority of states allow civilians to record police officers, in or outside of their squad car, Florida has a two-party consent law. This means that before you can record someone, you must have their consent to do so. This is known as the wiretapping law and if you violate the law, you could be charged with a felony.
The wiretapping law in Fort Lauderdale does make it seem as though it is illegal to videotape an officer while in their squad car. Fortunately, the law also makes an exception for police officers that are on active duty and in a public area. This is due to the fact that in these scenarios, police officers do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Although the officer’s squad car is likely not considered a public place, if you are inside of it, the officer still does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. As such, you can videotape an officer inside the squad car.
What to Do if Threatened by Police for Recording In-Squad Videos
Your legal right to record an in-squad video is protected by the First Amendment, and the wiretapping laws of the state. However, not all police officers know the law and even when they do, they may improperly quote it. Many will cite the audio portion of the wiretapping law and may even try to take your phone.
It is important to remain calm and respectful, but you can tell the officer you are legally allowed to record their actions. You can also tell them they need reasonable suspicion that your phone contains illegal material, as well as a warrant, to seize your phone. Always remain visibly safe and do not interfere with the officer’s work, as that could result in several different types of charges. If the officer does arrest you, or threatens to lay more charges, it is important to speak to a Fort Lauderdale in-squad video attorney.
Call Our Fort Lauderdale In-Squad Videos Attorney Today
If you have recorded police and they have charged or arrested you, our Fort Lauderdale in-squad videos attorney at Meldon Law can help you restore your rights. Call us today at 800-373-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free case review and to learn about your legal options.