District of Columbia Call Recording Law

Below is a section of the District of Columbia State Statutes that we believe apply to recording phone conversations. This information is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel.

From the District of Columbia State Code

D.C. Code Ann. § 23-542: It is legal to record or disclose the contents of a wire or oral communication where the person recording is a party to the communication, or where one of the parties has given prior consent, unless the recording is done with criminal or injurious intent. A recording made without proper consent can be punished criminally by a fine of no more than $10,000 or imprisonment for no more than five years. However, disclosure of the contents of an illegally recorded communication cannot be punished criminally if the contents of the communication have "become common knowledge or public information."

Anyone who illegally records or discloses the contents of a communication is subject to civil liability for the greater of actual damages, damages in the amount of $100 per day for each day of violation, or $1,000, along with punitive damages, attorney fees and litigation costs. D.C. Code Ann. § 23-554.

Important Notice

It is always best to talk with an attorney if you have questions about the legal implications of recording calls in your state. We hope this information will serve as a general guide, and is not intended to substitute for expert legal counsel.

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