Is it legal for a confidential informant to wear a hidden camera without informing anybody that he is wearing one as per state law?

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Is it legal for a confidential informant to wear a hidden camera without informing anybody that he is wearing one as per state law?

Can a C.I. wear a hidden camera and film any activity inside a private residence without being guilty of violating FL statute 934.03? As far as I know, FL is a 2 party consent state (you need to have permission to record any communications that are not in public from both parties involved) and as I understand it a C.I. cannot record you where you have a reasonable expectation to privacy (i.e. inside a private residence), unless they have your permission to do so.

Asked on October 31, 2010 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This question is best asked to your defense attorney who will know the law in your state.  Giving interpretation to a specific state statute is not a good idea in this type of forum.  But I can tell you that in New York - and I can probably bet it is the same in Florida - a search warrant would be needed to do what the confidential informant did in your case.  And not only that, the confidential informant could face a charge of burglary.  Whether or not the video would be what is known as "suppressed" ( and a hearing known as a suppression hearing would be held) could hinge on the determination of whether or not the confidential informant did this on his own or as an agent of the police department.  You do have an expectation of privacy in your home.  That is why the law requires a warrant.  Good luck.


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