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  1. #1
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Is A Dash Cam Legal?

    Is it legal for someone to have a video camera tapping while they are driving like some police depts have in their cars???

    The state is Pennsylvania.

    If not why not please and if yes is there some kind of sign or something that would need to be displayed??

  2. #2
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    Default Hidden Camera

    A hidden camera could run afoul of state eavesdropping laws, if the people in the car weren't aware of its presence.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2006
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    Default

    I don't have intentions of hiding the camera. It would be in clear view, perhaps on the dashboard.

    I read a post on a different forum regarding taping encounters with police. I would be taping encounters with security guards of a private community to proove that they turn things around, make up stories, and file false reports to the office so they can collect money for false citations.

  4. #4
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    Default

    If you're videotaping with an obvious camera, in a manner which is more or less the same as you would do with a hand-held camera (were your hands not on the steering wheel), there wouldn't appear to be a problem. Although if the security guards are the jerks you make them out to be, they'll probably try to cover the camera, turn it off, or try to get you to turn it off.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Exactly my point. That would be what I would want them too do.
    If they weren't doing anything wrong they wouldn't really care now would they lol.

    So it would be legal in PA to have this camera in my vehicle?? I will assume that I would have to announce that the camera is rolling, letting them know it is being taped, or would a small sign on the drivers side rear window be sufficient?

    I really need a serious legitimate answer. I am serious about doing this.
    Again the state is Pennsylvania

  6. #6
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    Default

    Unfortunately, if you want a formal legal opinion, you need to seek advice from a Pennsylvania lawyer.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default

    PA law appears to require the consent of all parties for the interception of oral communication unless there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

    This was found on one of many sites I Googled:

    18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 5703, 5704: It is a felony to intercept any wire, oral or electronic communication without the consent of all participants. It also is a felony to disclose or use the contents of a communication when there is reason to know those contents were obtained through an illegal interception.

    Under the statute, consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. See definition of "oral communication," 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5702.

    A trial court has held that a communication protected by the legislation is one in which there is an expectation that it will not be recorded by any electronic device, rather than one in which there is a general expectation of privacy. Thus, the fact that a participant may believe he will have to reveal the contents of a communication, or that other parties may repeat the contents, does not necessarily mean that he would have expected that it would be recorded, and it is the expectation that the communication would not be recorded that triggers the wiretapping law's protections. Pennsylvania v. McIvor, 670 A.2d 697 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1996), petition for appeal denied, 692 A.2d 564 (Pa. 1997).

    Anyone whose communication has been unlawfully intercepted can recover actual damages in the amount of $100 per day of violation or $1,000, whichever is greater, and also can recover punitive damages, litigation costs and attorney fees. 18 Pa. Const. Stat.§ 5725.

    A person commits a misdemeanor if he views, photographs or films another person in a state of full or partial nudity without consent, under circumstances where the nude person has an expectation of privacy.18 Pa. Const. Stat.§ 7507.1.


    I would check with an attorney before you did this.

    However, it would seem that your taping (at least the audio) with a dash cam unless the guard was advised of the taping ahead of time would violate that law. And if you are going to create a confrontation to prove your point you might also find yourself arrested or charged with some other offense.

    Better to avoid the run-ins rather than seek one!

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    End of Watch: Deputy Danny Oliver

    End of Watch: Detective Michael Davis, Jr.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default

    Carl,
    Thanks so much for your response.

    I have read the statute you speak of prior to you posting it here, and found it a little confusing.

    I had asked a similiar question to a police officer some time ago and this officer stated that video taping is legal as long as you do not tape audio.

    My objective for wanting to do this is NOT to create a confrontation, it would be to proove what actually took place compared to what is written in reports/citations.

    If it is prooven that reports are fabricated and certain individuals are abusing their authority than steps must be taken to rectify the situation. without proof it is ones word against the other and it is unjust to say the least.
    I personally have not had an incident to this nature however I have heard some horror stories from others that this has happened to.
    I was going to suggest to certain people to put cameras inside their vehicles in the event it should happen again, but was leary about advising them before I knew if it was legal.
    Thanks again for your response and for the info you provided.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Is a dash cam legal?

    here is an interesting article and video of car hidden camera in Texas.. This makes me want to get a hidden cam in my car. How retarded is this??

    http://www.jonesreport.com/articles/...en_camera.html

    *I am not advertising that website. It is an article.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    USA
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    663

    Default Re: Is A Dash Cam Legal?

    I saw a recording of the video. It all depends. If the officer really did smell a whif of marijuana as he stated before as the door was opened for the driver, he would have the right to search the vehicle. If the officer never smelled any marijuana before he started to search the vehicle, he is commiting a crime.

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