As with most things in law, the details of each individual situation can make a difference in how the judge might interpret the laws.
Virginia is one of the ‘one party consent’ states that allows recording of a phone conversation if at least one of the parties to the conversation knows about and consents to the recording. So it would appear that you could record your own calls if the entire conversation takes place in Virginia.
The problem occurs if the other party to the conversation is in a state where the law requires all parties to consent before a call can be recorded. For example, Maryland law requires that all parties consent before a call can be recorded. To be totally safe from prosecution for unauthorized taping (which is a felony in Virginia), you should abide by the most strict law. This means that if you are talking to someone in Maryland, you should get their permission before recording the call.
If someone is notified that the call is being recorded, and they continue to talk, they have given their consent, even if they don’t say the words ‘I consent’ or even ‘ok’. If someone is notified that the call is being recorded and they don’t want to be recorded, they can always just hang up.
I have read about a situation where a woman starts each conversation with her ex-husband with the phrase ‘this conversation may be recorded for use in a court of law’. While she may not have actual need to use the recordings, she reports that it has reduced the harassment that was previously part of every phone call about their joint children.
If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at http://www.BeaversLaw.com.