As a private investigation firm we often receive inquiries from clients regarding the legality of audio- recording a conversation between two parties. Audio recordings are a powerful tool which can be used during investigations. The answer to the question lies in the state you live in. All states have what they call either ‘one party’ or ‘two party’ consent. Here in the state of New Jersey we have one party consent. Therefore, if you wish to record a conversation between yourself and another party it is legal since you, the person recording the conversation, has given consent. In a two party state you would have to have the consent of the party you are recording as well. As per New Jersey Law:
4. It shall not be unlawful under this act for:
d. A person not acting under color of law to intercept a wire, electronic or oral communication, where such person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception unless such communication is intercepted or used for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or of this State or for the purpose of committing any other injurious act. The fact that such person is the subscriber to a particular telephone does not constitute consent effective to authorize interception of communications among parties not including such person on that telephone. Any person who unlawfully intercepts or uses such communication as provided in this paragraph shall be subject to the civil liability established in section 24 of P.L.1968, c.409 (C.2A:156A-24), in addition to any other criminal or civil liability imposed by law.
Joe Blaettler is the owner/operator of East Coast Private Investigations of New Jersey, LLC. ECPINJ is a full service private investigations and security consulting firm located in Morristown, NJ. ECPINJ is a private investigations firm serving all of New Jersey to include Morris County, Bergen County, Hudson County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Passaic County, and Sussex County. We specialize in surveillance, witness location and statements, undercover work, background checks and all other investigative needs of our clients. In addition to being a private investigator, Joe is also an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice teaching numerous disciplines within the criminal justice field to include Leadership, Supervision, Ethics, and Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement. Joe also works with attorneys by providing expert opinions regarding Police Policy and Procedures.