A Comprehensive Guide to Recording Consent in Arkansas

Have you ever seen a large, vintage tape recorder? While these machines were used for recording conversations, they weren’t exactly easy to master. One wrong move and your tape could jam, leaving your recording incomplete and possibly ruined.

Nowadays, technology has evolved to make recording conversations easier than ever. With a click of a button, you can record virtually any conversation on your cell phone.


The problem? This isn’t always legal.


It’s important to know your rights regarding recording consent in the state of Arkansas. Here, we’ll discuss what you need to know about consent and review some examples of the legality surrounding recorded conversations.


What You Should Know About Consent to Record Conversations

Every state has their own unique laws regarding an individual’s right to record conversations. While the legal nuances can vary, each state will have one of the following requirements for receiving consent:


  • One-Party Consent: One individual who is participating in the conversation has provided their consent for recording. Other people speaking in the conversation do not need to give their consent and the recording can be completed without the other person’s knowledge.
  • All-Party Consent (also referred to as Two-Party Consent): Everyone within the conversation must be aware and provide consent to legally record the discussion.


The majority of states, including Arkansas, have one-party consent laws. That means as an Arkansas resident, you can legally record your conversations without obtaining consent from other parties.



A handful of states, like California and Florida, have all-party consent laws. In order for you to legally record a conversation and use it as evidence in court, everyone within the discussion must agree to be recorded. While this can be referred to as two-party consent, make no mistake — if there are four people in the conversation, all four parties must provide consent.


Examples of Legal and Illegal Recordings in Arkansas

According to Arkansas law, you cannot record conversations among other people that you did not participate in without one party’s consent. Let’s review some examples of legal and illegal recordings of Arkansas residents.


Legal Recording

Your friend is currently in the process of going through a divorce. They asked if you would listen in on a phone conversation with their ex-partner and make a recording.

While you won’t be participating in the phone conversation, one of the parties (your friend) has asked you to listen and make the recording, therefore giving their consent. This meets the criteria for Arkansas’s lawful one-party consent recording.


Illegal Recording

You suspect that your coworker has been spreading rumors around the office to damage your reputation. In an effort to catch them in the act, you set your phone to record, leave it on your desk, and step away for lunch.



This example is problematic and illegal. Since you stepped away from your desk for a lunch break, you will not be considered a party within the recorded conversation. Additionally, you did not receive consent from any of the coworkers featured on this recording.


Legal or Illegal? You Decide

While you are out of the house, you check your inside cameras and overhear your spouse’s phone conversation. Based on the conversation details, it’s clear your partner is having an affair. You download the recording to use as evidence for a divorce case. 

This is another example of an illegal recording. Your spouse has the expectation of privacy within their home and did not consent to recording prior to their phone conversation.

However, while you might not be able to use the audio visual recording in court, it might help to pull call logs and text messages. In any case, you’ll need to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss a divorce.


Let The Professionals At Hickey & Hull Assist You In Court

Whether you find yourself in the middle of a divorce, business dispute, or criminal investigation in Arkansas, recordings may help create a strong court case — but only when conducted legally and with one-party consent.

If you have questions about the legality of your recording and its admission into the court of law, consult with one of the legal professionals at Hickey & Hull. We know the process can be intimidating and stressful for clients, which is why we strive to achieve the best possible results in the courtroom.