You’ll Never Believe What The Law on Eavesdropping is in Colorado
If you commonly use the phrase "I overheard" in Colorado, you'll probably want to stop after learning the law on eavesdropping.
Having a personal and private conversation in Colorado is a right that we all have and if you intrude on another person's conversation you're actually breaking the law.
Curious Cats in Colorado Should be Warned
Now this will definitely be an interesting story to relay to your kids. We've all heard the phrase, "curiosity killed the cat," but who knew that eavesdroppers in Colorado were actually committing a class 1 or perhaps class 2 misdemeanor?
Eavesdropping in Colorado Is Illegal
Yes, it's true, eavesdropping on another person's conversation in Colorado is actually illegal according to C.R.S. 18-9-304.
The law reads:
(1) Any person not visibly present during a conversation or discussion commits eavesdropping if he:
(a) Knowingly overhears or records such conversation or discussion without the consent of at least one of the principal parties thereto, or attempts to do so; or
(b) Intentionally overhears or records such conversation or discussion for the purpose of committing, aiding, or abetting the commission of an unlawful act; or
(c) Knowingly uses for any purpose, discloses, or attempts to use or disclose to any other person the contents of any such conversation or discussion while knowing or having reason to know the information was obtained in violation of this section; or
(d) Knowingly aids, authorizes, agrees with, employs, permits, or intentionally conspires with any person to violate the provisions of this section.
So whether you record the conversation or not, eavesdropping on a conversation physically or through the phone is against the law in Colorado without the consent of at least one of the party members.
Colorado Misdemeanors & Sentencing
The penalty for eavesdropping in Colorado can carry a class 2 or class 1 misdemeanor. Now misdemeanors are no petty offense, but they do carry less weight than a felony.
According to Colorado Legal Defense Group:
- Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- Class 2 misdemeanors in Colorado are punishable by up to 120 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $750.
Word to the wise, don't eavesdrop in Colorado unless you want to pay the price.