State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Missouri > T37 > C542 > 542_402

Penalty for illegal wiretapping, permitted activities.

542.402. 1. Except as otherwise specifically provided in sections542.400 to 542.422, a person is guilty of a class D felony and uponconviction shall be punished as provided by law, if such person:

(1) Knowingly intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures anyother person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire communication;

(2) Knowingly uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person touse or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device tointercept any oral communication when such device transmits communicationsby radio or interferes with the transmission of such communication;provided, however, that nothing in sections 542.400 to 542.422 shall beconstrued to prohibit the use by law enforcement officers of bodymicrophones and transmitters in undercover investigations for theacquisition of evidence and the protection of law enforcement officers andothers working under their direction in such investigations;

(3) Knowingly discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any otherperson the contents of any wire communication, when he knows or has reasonto know that the information was obtained through the interception of awire communication in violation of this subsection; or

(4) Knowingly uses, or endeavors to use, the contents of any wirecommunication, when he knows or has reason to know that the information wasobtained through the interception of a wire communication in violation ofthis subsection.

2. It is not unlawful under the provisions of sections 542.400 to542.422:

(1) For an operator of a switchboard, or an officer, employee, oragent of any communication common carrier, whose facilities are used in thetransmission of a wire communication, to intercept, disclose, or use thatcommunication in the normal course of his employment while engaged in anyactivity which is a necessary incident to the rendition of his service orto the protection of the rights or property of the carrier of suchcommunication, however, communication common carriers shall not utilizeservice observing or random monitoring except for mechanical or servicequality control checks;

(2) For a person acting under law to intercept a wire or oralcommunication, where such person is a party to the communication or whereone of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to suchinterception;

(3) For a person not acting under law to intercept a wirecommunication where such person is a party to the communication or whereone of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to suchinterception unless such communication is intercepted for the purpose ofcommitting any criminal or tortious act.

(L. 1989 H.B. 277, et al. § 2, A.L. 2002 S.B. 712)

(1998) Communications between a cellular phone and a regular wire phone are wire communications within the purview of the wiretap law. Lee v. Lee, 967 S.W.2d 82 (Mo.App.W.D.).