ALABAMA is considered a One-Party Consent State, in that at least one person involved in the recorded communication must consent. An illegal recording is a misdemeanor. With that said, federal and state laws can differ, so it is always best to seek legal counsel* and follow the strictest applicable laws.

VIDEO SURVEILLANCE

As per the Upcounsel website1,

Video surveillance laws differ greatly from state to state. There’s a total lack of federal laws prohibiting video surveillance in public, in the workplace, and elsewhere, sometimes known as CCTV, or closed-circuit television. Most states allow this surveillance to occur, but there are some small exceptions and some circumstances that require monitoring on a case-by-case basis.

In Alabama, the covert filming of individuals while they were trespassing on private properties was considered unlawful surveillance. This may sound strange to many. It’s considered an aggravated offense to record anyone, in any place, while the individual has an expectation of privacy, without their prior express written consent.

Alabama’s notorious eavesdropping statutes criminalize the use of any devices used to overhear, record, or capture any communications, whether or not the eavesdropper is present, without the express consent of one or more parties engaged in conversation or communication.

AUDIO SURVEILLANCE

 

Federal and state laws differ as to the legality of recording phone calls and conversations. Determining which jurisdiction’s law controls in cases involving recording devices or parties in multiple states can be complex, so it is likely best to adhere to the strictest applicable law when in doubt, and/or get the clear consent of all parties before recording.

Applicable Alabama Code Title 13A. Criminal Code Section 13A-11-302

Section 13A-11-30. Definitions

 

The following definitions apply to this article:

(1) Eavesdrop. To overhear, record, amplify or transmit any part of the private communication of others without the consent of at least one of the persons engaged in the communication, except as otherwise provided by law.

(2) Private place. A place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance, but such term does not include a place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access.

(3) Surveillance. Secret observation of the activities of another person for the purpose of spying upon and invading the privacy of the person observed.

 

Section 13A-11-31. Criminal eavesdropping

 

(a) A person commits the crime of criminal eavesdropping if he intentionally uses any device to eavesdrop, whether or not he is present at the time.

(b) Criminal eavesdropping is a Class A misdemeanor.

 

Section 13A-11-32. Criminal surveillance

 

(a) A person commits the crime of criminal surveillance if he intentionally engages in surveillance while trespassing in a private place.

(b) Criminal surveillance is a Class B misdemeanor.

 

 

Section 13A-11-32.1. Aggravated criminal surveillance

 

(a) A person commits the crime of aggravated criminal surveillance if he or she intentionally engages in surveillance of an individual in any place where the individual being observed has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior express or implied consent of the individual being observed, for the purpose of sexual gratification.

(b) Aggravated criminal surveillance is a Class A misdemeanor, except if a person has a prior conviction or adjudication under this section the offense is a Class C felony.

(c) For purposes of determining prior conviction or adjudication under this section, convictions in municipal court shall be included.

 

 

If you discover any of the above information has changed, is outdated, or is otherwise incorrect before we do, please drop us an email and let us know.  Thank you.


*Information in the "Policy" section does not constitute as legal advice. Please consult an attorney for any and all legal advice.
(1) Video Surveillance Laws by State: Everything You Need to Know, https://www.upcounsel.com/video-surveillance-laws-by-state
(2) The information above may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature before relying on it for your legal needs. http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/default.aspx