911 Recorded Call Violates Florida Wiretap Statute

Law Office of W.F. ''Casey'' Ebsary Jr
Wiretap, 934.03(2)(g)2
911 Call, Wiretap, 934.03(2)(g)2

911 Recording Violates Wiretap Statute

Florida Criminal Defense Attorney notes that a call from a 911  dispatcher TO a crime scene violated the Florida Wiretap Statute “section 934.03(2)(g)2, which the court broadly construed to allow an emergency agency to intercept and record  any  wire communication in order to acquire necessary information to render aid and assistance.” Complete Opinion Follows:

911 Recording Violates Wiretap Statute

Case Excerpts:

“On January 17, 2010, a dispatcher with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, received a 911 call from a woman reporting a disturbance occurring at her daughter’s house next door.  The woman gave the dispatcher the telephone number for that residence, and the dispatcher called the number to see if anyone there needed police assistance.  After the line was answered, the dispatcher heard screaming and yelling in the background.  No one said anything on the line; the line was simply open, and the dispatcher could hear a male threaten to shoot everyone in the house and himself.  This call was recorded.”

“Section 934.03 prohibits the intentional interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications without the parties’ consent or court authorization.  However, an employee of an agency operating an emergency 911 system may lawfully intercept and record incoming wire communications on designated “911” telephone numbers and published nonemergency telephone numbers staffed by trained dispatchers at public safety answering points only.  It is also lawful for such employee to intercept and record outgoing wire communications to the numbers from which such incoming wire communications were placed when necessary to obtain information required to provide the emergency services being requested.”

§ 934.03(2)(g)2, Fla. Stat. (2009) (emphasis added)

“[T]he trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress an audio recording made by a 911 dispatcher ….”

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