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Before Clicking The Record Button You Must Know Pennsylvania Wiretap Law

Pennsylvanian Wiretap Law

Pennsylvania is introducing its new civil law for recording private conversations. The new Pennsylvania wiretap law has come up with two factors that are two-party consent law. Meaning you can not record private conversations without the consent of other people.

This Pennsylvania wiretap law is historical. According to the Pennsylvania wiretap law intercepting, recording a telephone call or conversation is considered a serious crime. Unless the other person is well aware of the recording factors. But in a public place, you can record a person’s conversations. Hence, you will also require consent for every person present in the gathering.

Let’s see first what the Pennsylvania wiretap law is saying?

What Is The Pennsylvania Wiretap Law Saying?

What Is The Pennsylvania Wiretap Law Saying?

The Pennsylvania Wiretap Law is clearly saying recording any private conversations are illegal unless you do not have the consent of the other person. In some cases, I have seen in public gatherings you can manage the recording. But these recordings also count as a criminal offense if you do not have all the present party’s consent.

According to this new Pennsylvania Wiretap is supporting the two-party consent concept. The violation of the law can expose any person to civil lawsuits. The charge is legal, and the injured party can charge you with criminal offenses. The Pennsylvania Wiretap Law follows the  Pennsylvania age of consent. This means that any minor and kid under 16 does not come under this rule.

The Pennsylvania age of consent is 16. And this Wiretap Law is only applicable for people who are over 15. You have to require consent when you are recording an over 16 person’s private communication.

2 Different Applications For Pennsylvania Wiretap Law 

For public and private meetings, the laws are different. When you are a criminal prosecutor, you must know the details of these laws. Because unless you are not aware of the two factors, you can drive yourself into sudden criminal charges and face civil lawsuits.

Here are two different cases which are applicable to Pennsylvania wiretap law.

When You Are Recording Court Hearings and Public Meetings?

Pennsylvania states courts partially pose restrictions on the use of recording devices in the courtroom. For trial and appellate, the restrictions are always there.

According to the new Pennsylvania wiretap law, individual judges are authorized to record nonjury civil trials when both of the parties have lawsuit consent.

For these types of cases, the individual witness is the subject of communication recording. The local courts can also apply some additional rules.

The Pennsylvania Federal courts are banning every recording device in the courtrooms.

When You Are Recording In The Public Meetings?

In public meetings, the Pennsylvania wiretap law applications are a little bit different. The recording devices are allowed in public meetings. Some of the government officials are adopting separate rules for running their private meetings. But the fact is recording in public meetings is not a crime.

Other than the government official in every private meeting if you like to record someone’s talk. Then you will require the consent of all the delegates who are present in that meetings.

But as the government bodies can adopt their own rules, there are no such rules which can include the flat prohibitions over the recordings. Any type of secret recording of the communications is illegal in Pennsylvania.

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Why Is Pennsylvania Wiretap Law Act Created?

Why Is Pennsylvania Wiretap Law Act Created?

The story starts long ago. In February 2016, the  Pennsylvania Superior Court found V. Smith recording a conversation. The recording of conversion is more like keeping the record in the voice memo application. 

The superior court quoted 2014 and waited for the decisions for the judgment. As a result, the Riley v. California records are misleading the shorthand documents. This mismatch of documentation leads to multiple miscommunications and arguments inside the court. The reason is pretty simple.

Most of these smart devices have multiple functions like telephones, newspapers, cameras, and video players. And you can easily manipulate the recordings by pressing a simple button. From that incident, the Pennsylvania state court took that decision and created the Pennsylvania wiretap law. 

To avoid these types of misconceptions, it is better to abolish the smart recording devices inside the courtrooms and protect the privacy of personal communications.

Frequently Asked Question About Pennsylvanian Wiretap Law:

Q1. Can You Sue Someone For Recording Private Conversations In Pennsylvania?

Ans: This activity is counted as a felony offense in Pennsylvania/The person-to-person private communications recordings are entirely illegal. The recorded party can sue for recovering the damages. Yes, recording your communications without your consent is illegal. You can sue anyone for this offense in Pennsylvania.

Q2. Can you keep an in-person conversation record in Pennsylvania?

Ans: It is an entirely unlawful act of intentionally recording without others’ consent. The state is prohibited from these unlawful images made. Without the other person’s consent, recording is entirely illegal in Pennsylvania.

Q3. What About The Security Camera Recordings in PA?

Ans: Recording the sound on surveillance is not prohibited in PA. But keeping the records and private conversations between two employees are strictly prohibited. In addition, if you want to keep the record, you have to consent from every party present.

Q4. Is Wiretapping A Federal Crime?

Ans: The federal crimes for a wiretap restrict the use of machines to capture the communications. Without the court’s approval and consent, you can not do the wiretapping even though you are a preceding criminal or seeking help from the judicial system.


This is the present Pennsylvania wiretap law for recording videos. If you are thinking of recording your X husband or wife’s conversations while sitting in Pennsylvania. Then it is an excellent decision for you just not to press the record button abruptly. Hence in Pennsylvania, this is a criminal offense. You can face civil lawsuit charges for it. For public meeting recordings, every government organization has different rules. Before starting the record, take all the information about the corresponding meetings.

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