One of the most shocking revelations when a person is arrested for a crime and is being booked in jail is that they do not have a right to make that one phone call. It seems wrong on many levels because for years you may have seen and heard on television shows and movies that a person can make a call from jail to a family member or friend.
The reality is that there is no constitutional right to use a phone when you are booked into jail. Police departments that permit telephone calls do so as a courtesy. Most if not all of the police departments that permit calls record them.
Nothing is Private
Jails or detention facilities that permit telephone calls record the inmates’ calls. In fact, before an inmate is connected to whomever he or she may be calling, a preliminary recorded message informs both ends of the conversation that the telephone call will be recorded. Despite the clear warning, many inmates still talk about criminal acts, actions, knowledge, or involvement.
Who is Listening?
Everyone involved in your criminal prosecution has access to and can listen to all of your jailhouse conversations. Whatever information collected that can help the prosecutor convict you will be used against you and shared with the presiding judge in your case. This affects culpability and sentencing. Many times, your attorney, the only person in the equation interested in defending you, will be the last to know you made an incriminating statement to someone else complicating your defense and ability to mitigate any penalties.
Individuals charged with domestic violence, for example, often speak to family members or the complaining partner or spouse, in violation of the no contact order of protection in an effort to pressure the partner or spouse to drop the charges or not appear in court. These activities, if recorded, are most certainly used against the charged individual in the existing case and to support charges of witness tampering or violation of a protective order.
If you are able to make a call from jail, do not discuss your case with anyone but your lawyer.
Hire a San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with a crime in California, you can face misdemeanor or felony charges along with heavy fines and years of imprisonment. Contact a qualified and experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer who can help you mitigate potential penalties and put a difficult chapter of your life behind you. Continue reading