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Can you record your roommate in Georgia without their consent?

| Dec 15, 2020 | College Student Criminal Defense

There’s no nice way to say it: Your roommate is a nightmare. They steal your food, use your shampoo, “borrow” your stuff without asking and refuse to clean up after themselves. Worse, when confronted with the issues, they lie and claim that someone else in your dorm or student housing is responsible.

You’ve thought about setting up a hidden camera just to get evidence that they can’t refute — so that you can have it out with them about their behavior once and for all.

Don’t do it.

Taping someone without permission can lead to criminal charges

Currently, Georgia is a “one-party consent” state when it comes to making audio or video recordings of another person (although that may soon change). What that means is that at least one party in the video or audio must be aware of and agree to the recording (with some exceptions) for it to be legal.

While not as restrictive as two-party consent states, that does eliminate setting up a hidden “nanny cam” in the kitchen so you can catch your roommate taking your food and leaving a mess behind for everyone else while you’re not there.

While it may not seem like a major offense if you do it anyhow, the reality is that you could easily be charged under wiretapping laws with a serious crime. Similarly, you don’t want to dig into your roommates email, text messages or anything else to see what they’re doing — because that also puts you on the wrong side of the law.

If you’ve made a mistake that’s led to charges, get help

Whether you’re living in a dorm or in some kind of alternative student housing, your roommates or housemates can be either one of the best things about college life — or the worst. Don’t let a bad situation with your roommates drive you into breaking the law.

If you’re already in trouble with the law, don’t try to talk yourself out of trouble or handle the situation on your own. It takes an experienced defense attorney’s knowledge and skills to minimize the consequences of a criminal charge on your life.