This is Part 2 of a 3 Part Series on crimes you should know before you play Columbo and start collecting evidence. Part I we covered the various crimes that constitute computer trespass. Next up, eavesdropping and surveillance.
John Doe (from Part I of this series) decides that he is going to place a recording software on his wife, Jane’s, iPhone. He even installs a mini camera in her car. Throughout his investigation, he captures her confessions of infidelity, learns of assets she never told him about, and her plan to run off in the sunset with her paramour after the divorce. For any divorce attorney, this evidence is gold! However, that small victory has huge consequences because he could face criminal charges for unlawful eavesdropping and surveillance.
It is unlawful for anyone to secretly and intentionally overhear, transmit, intercept, photograph or record the conversation or actions of another person in a private place without consent. Further, it is illegal for anyone to intentionally use devices to obtain messages sent by text, email, telephone or any other private conversations. Even if the snooping doesn’t fit squarely into the aforementioned definitions, any “acts of a nature similar” to them can land you in jail.
The moral of the story is that, in family law, if you didn’t get permission, consult an attorney on the legal way to obtain this information before you land yourself behind bars. Seeking your liberty from your spouse should not forfeit your liberty to the State