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Is their a way I can get around this audio recording law for my story to work?

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Old 02-05-2016, 12:24 PM
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Default Is their a way I can get around this audio recording law for my story to work?


I discovered a plot hole in my story that was overlooked before. After doing research, apparently in Canada (my story's setting), you are not allowed to record a conversation unless you are part of it. That makes sense.

In my story, a cop is raped by a serial rapist/killer type of villain, he is pursuing, only to find himself being on of the victims later. After the villain gets away with it, the cop obsessively pursues him wanting justice for what was done to him.

Now I wanted to write it so that the cop was following the villain around on his own time, but since he cannot record anything the villain says to incriminate himself to any of his associates, what can he do instead?

I don't want the villain to have any more potential victims at this point. I would just like him to incriminate himself and be caught. But since the MC is not allowed to record anything what kind of evidence could he get?

He cannot break into the villain's property to obtain anything either, since that's also illegal, so is their anything that my MC can do on his own, without warrants, since the villain is legally off the hook, and the prosecutor will not the help the MC?

Perhaps there is something in the law that might work for my story idea?

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Old 02-05-2016, 12:52 PM
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he can break into the guys house and then be arrested in the house, by, say a friend on the force, I think at that point because there has been a crime in the house the cops can search without a warrant - and everything they find is admissible; or at least it's been done that way before.

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Old 02-05-2016, 01:00 PM
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Actually I researched that and it turns out that that will legally not fly, in real life, because it only works that way with civilians.

If a cop does it then the evidence is tainted because an officer of the law broke in. There is a legal difference there, that will not make it work if he is a cop unfortunately.

But I cannot make him a civilian cause he has to be a cop for the first half of the story to work. But you say it's been done that way before though?

Last edited by ironpony; 02-05-2016 at 01:03 PM..
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:38 PM
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If the police respond to a crime call then anything they observe at the scene is admissible in court, therefore it should be enough to get a warrant. That is if the one who broke in caused enough damage to get the guy or a neighbor to call the cops. In fact it could be an anonymous tip, if a police officer sees anything illegal at a crime call then he can act.

now that's in the states,

these actions may not get you the guy for murder but they can give you access to other things if you are successful and arrest him for some other crime.

a stop for a minor traffic offence and anything you see in the car is admissible, and the other dominos fall, maybe.

a call to the house because he is mistreating his dog - can result in the animal control officer filming the dogs surroundings and anything in that video is legally attained evidence.

the court has also ruled that if you intercept a wireless phone call from the air it can be used as probable cause. who know why the phone was transmitting.

in todays tech you can have several options that could give you legitimate probable cause. even a conversation overhead in a café while you're getting coffee is enough with the right judge.

now a question - if the cop has been suspended without pay, is he a civilian or a cop or a fired cop, and therefore, a civilian?

it again seems to me that you don't want the guy to get caught - so have the killer kill the cop - how's that for a twist.


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Old 02-05-2016, 02:23 PM
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Okay thanks. Well I would like for my story, I don't think the villain has any logical reason to keep evidence of rapes and murders in his own house.

I think that the MC would have to monitor him and catch him in the act of another crime, which he would commit in a hideout or something, separate from his home.

However, there is one law that is tough to work around and this recording someone. You cannot record a conversation unless you are a part of it. Since the villain knows who the MC is, he cannot have any conversation with the villain obviously.

Is their a legal way around this by any chance?
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:04 PM
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If he claims he doesn't know who did the recording. It just showed up in the mail. There's room to incriminate anyone that was party to the conversation.
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:40 PM
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Okay thanks. I thought of this before, but I read that the court cannot use evidence if they do not know the source of where it came from though. Is this going to be a problem if there is that law as well?

Last edited by ironpony; 02-05-2016 at 03:45 PM..
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Old 02-05-2016, 04:32 PM
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Maybe. I know in the states it's admissible if the originator of it is unknown. In Canada, I'm not sure.
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:26 PM
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Okay thanks. I don't think that it would be possible for my MC to send in evidence anonymously because it would cause other complications in the plot.

It is a thriller where a lot of it takes place in the courtroom, and I use real legal technicalities for the villain to get off. So I wrote it very accurately to real life. However, what if I made up the fact that the MC is allowed to enter a recording of a conversation between the criminal and an associate without a warrant?

I also researched further, and even if a cop can somehow be part of the conversation, a cop still needs a warrant in Canada, otherwise it's inadmissible, and my character is not able to get one since he is forced to work on his own.

So what if I just made that part up that he does not need a warrant. I wrote how the villain uses a few other legal technicalities to go free, which are real. So if I use a made up one to get him caught, would that come off as too unrealistic the reader, since I set it a legally realistic world, but then go into made up territory, in the climax?

Last edited by ironpony; 02-05-2016 at 08:03 PM..
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:20 PM
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You have to find out how to grow into the characters as they develop. Try writing about someone else's character. See what kind of conclusions you can draw. Pick just topics (as usual), write a day, cram it all into all weekdays, my efflux: long live king shakespeare?

fyi: I might stop picking characters I had crushes on, but those friendly ghosts could really work for most young authors. Even if it's a fearless leader that you end up trying. It really is a blast for me, for instance Henry V.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:46 AM
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Easy way to get around the law.

Put the person recording the stuff on one of the many native lands in Canada that are not under such laws.

In USA the tribal lands are their own sovereignty and I would bet the same is true of tribal lands in Canada.

Every law has a loophole.

Use the Canadian tribes in the story and expose how unjust the Canadian no recordings allowed rule is when it protects criminals
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:12 AM
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If the cop was rape why was he unable to get any evidence? Perhaps make the evidence from other incidents, including the cop's stronger to allow for an investigation. If the villain is in a place that records audio and video as part of their own security this can be used. You can have the police record the conversations of a known associate for another criminal investigation and the rapist could divulge information about himself. If you use DNA anything thrown in the trash can be used as evidence. Hope this sparks a few ideas.
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:47 PM
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Okay thanks. Well in doing my police research, the reason why he cannot get any evidence is that he is acting on his own without warrants to do so. But I want to him to be forced to work on his own, without help, if possible.

But that is why he cannot get evidence, cause you need warrants, and the rapist has already gotten away with it, and he cannot get any warrants, based on his word alone.

As for the villain committing crimes in a place where it would be recorded, the villain is not dumb enough to do that, I wouldn't think.
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