Do you know if it is legal in your State to record a conversation with another person?

We often receive requests from clients who are looking to have conversations recorded. Depending on your State and the reason to seek a recording, it may or may not be legal.

Firstly, you must always have a legitimate reason. If you suspect that your employee has opened up a business similar to yours and is attempting to steal your clients, that could be classed as a legitimate reason for wanting to obtain evidence.

Family Law/Domestic cases are another legitimate example. Keep in mind however, that States’ Laws are generally divided into two categories; One Party consent and Two Party consent. One party consent means that one of the parties must agree to the conversation being taped.

If you live in Virginia or D.C. (for a list of laws for all States and the District of Columbia, click HERE), you can tape a conversation that you have with somebody else, since they are “One Party” States and you are the person giving your consent.

If you live in a “Two Party” State, such as Maryland, you will need the consent of both/all parties involved in the conversation. It is therefore just about impossible to record a conversation in these types of States without the other person agreeing to the recording.

As you can see form the provided list,even in States which prohibit covert voice recording, it is still possible to tape a conversation in a public place. This means that if a private investigator could strategically place himself near a table in a restaurant where that aforementioned employee or significant other were having a clandestine meeeting, he could tape whatever they discussed.

The reason for this is, a person does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place. If they are that concerned, they should either speak in a manner that can not be overheard, or take their meeting to someplace private.

This is for those potential clients who call and ask if their home phone can be tapped as they suspect their husband or wife is speaking with their paramour – NO, it can not. There is a Federal law prohibiting wire tapping. Even in a one party State, one party must give their consent. If your husband is whispering “sweet nothings” in his mistress’ ear, I can guarantee you that he will not give you permission to tape that.

There is a laways a solution however and conducting discreet, covert surveillance by a trained professional will provide most clients with the evidence they need.

Copper Thieves are the New Gold Diggers

Be careful if your property contains a lot of visible copper. Thieves are cashing in on the rising price of copper.

In one case, two men tried to sell copper caps to a scrap metal dealer in Chicago. The dealer became suspicious and notified Police. The two men worked at a munitions factory and the copper they were trying to sell were casings from 1.5 million rounds of ammunition. One of them is now facing a prison sentence of 245 years for stealing from the military during wartime.

In Hot Springs, Arkansas, 2,000 customers, a Wal-Mart, a mall and a hospital lost power when thieves hit an electric sub-station on April 27. Last year, we took over security at a site for a client where theives were stripping copper from electrical lines. Similar incidents are taking place all over the country. Thieves are getting so desperate that they are willing to risk getting electrocuted in order to steal the valuable metal.

Burglaries have risen by 18% so far this year throughout the District of Columbia and Police detectives are attributing much of it to the theft of copper wiring and piping. During the past 2 weeks, thieves have hit construction sites in Germantown, Clarksburg and Potomac. It is getting so bad that outdoor sculptures are starting to disappear. In Brea, California, city officials have contacted owners of bronze sculptures and advised them to step up security.

In 2000, the average price of copper was $0.83 per pound. Eight years later, the rate has jumped to $3 – $4 per pound.

Nice one, Dick!

I was delighted to hear the latest news on WTOP radio tonight on gun control in the District of Columbia.

Apparently, Vice President Cheney is calling the District’s ban on gun possession “unconstitutional”. This is the first time the V.P. has gone against the Administration. The V.P. joins 300 senators and representatives who declare that the ban on guns goes against the second ammendment.

Owners of licensed security companies are sure to be singing Dick’s praises tonight. Washington D.C. is known worldwide for it’s lawlessness and drive-by shootings. One wonders if there is a criminal anywhere in the District who does NOT own an illegal gun. Yet, law-abiding citizens and business owners whose very livelyhood depends on their having access to concealed weapons, are prohibited and restricted from properly carrying out their trade.

Who in their right minds would think that the same highly trained and experienced gun owners (many of whom have law enforcement and military experience) who carry their weapon in nearby Maryland and Virginia are not capable of doing the same in the District of Columbia?

Hopefully this discriminatory law is about to be changed. When it does, maybe then guns will not be outlawed and not only the outlaws will have guns.