Westport Eavesdropping Lawyer
A Westport eavesdropping lawyer could be an essential ally in your defense against charges no matter the circumstances from which they came about. A dedicated domestic violence attorney could help you understand the nature of this offense, how authorities usually prosecute this crime, and how it differs from other offenses that involve similar behaviors.
How Does State Law Define the Offense of Eavesdropping?
According to Connecticut General Statutes §53a-189, eavesdropping involves someone engaging in either “mechanical overhearing of a conversation” or “wiretapping,” each of which is defined more specifically in C.G.S. §53a-187.
“Wiretapping” entails using an electronic or mechanical device to knowingly record or listen in on a phone call without consent from either party involved in the conversation. Conversely, “mechanical overhearing of a conversation” is intentionally using some kind of device to record or listen to an in-person conversation without both parties involved consenting.
What Are the Penalties for Eavesdropping?
Upon conviction for an eavesdropping charge, a defendant may face penalties commensurate with a class D felony, which may include a prison sentence up to five years in length and a maximum fine of $5,000.
If your eavesdropping case involves a domestic partner, your charge may be classified as domestic violence. If this is the case you could face protective orders, even before conviction, and other unique consequences. Assistance from a Westport eavesdropping attorney could be crucial not only to effectively fighting eavesdropping charges but also minimizing sanctions before and after a conviction.
How Is Eavesdropping Different from Similar Offenses?
The criminal offense of eavesdropping has a very specific definition under state law, which means it does not apply to all situations that a layperson might consider to be “eavesdropping.” For example, for someone to be convicted of felony eavesdropping, they must have used an “instrument, device, or equipment” to facilitate their actions. Accordingly, someone listening to a conversation from close enough that they do not need any technological help to hear it might constitute trespassing in certain situations, but it would not constitute “eavesdropping” in the criminal sense.
In the same vein, someone illicitly receiving information about a private phone call from a telephone company employee or representative—or illicitly providing such information while working for a telephone company—would be guilty of a different offense other than eavesdropping. Specifically, under C.G.S. §53a-188, they might be charged with the offense of tampering with private communications, a class A misdemeanor.
Finally, it should be noted that law enforcement officials performing their lawful duties cannot be charged with or convicted of eavesdropping or tampering with private communications, and their lawful actions generally would not affect evidence admissibility in any case. An eavesdropping lawyer in Westport could provider further information about how these and related charges may apply to a particular situation.
Seek Help from a Westport Eavesdropping Attorney
While it may not be a violent criminal offense, eavesdropping is still a felony punishable by steep fines and multiple years in prison. A knowledgeable Westport eavesdropping lawyer could ensure you are aware of your legal options and relentlessly pursue a positive outcome on your behalf. Don’t just take our word though, click here to read what over 300 former clients have to say about working with our firm to see for yourself how we can help you.