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Are Inmate Phone Conversations Recorded?

Posted in Criminal Defense on March 16, 2020

Anyone who has a loved one in jail in California understands how difficult the incarceration can be on everybody involved. This includes not only the person who is incarcerated but also their family members and friends. One important aspect of incarceration is visitation and phone calls with loved ones. Studies have shown that regular communication with loved ones who are in jail is emotionally and psychologically helpful for the person incarcerated. However, it is important to know whether or not conversations between an incarcerated person and their friends and family are recorded and whether these recordings can be used against them.

Are inmate calls recorded?

Can They Be Used as an Admission of Guilt?

It is generally understood that any conversation that takes place between an incarcerated individual and their friends or family members can be recorded. This includes both when they are on visits or when they use the jail phone to call outside of the jail.

If you have ever made a phone call from jail or prison, or received a call from someone who is incarcerated, then you have likely heard a recording telling you that the phone call “may be recorded.” There are also various signs in place inside visitation rooms and phone rooms to indicate that a conversation may be recorded.

You can be fairly certain that, yes, the conversation will be recorded. This will particularly be true for cases that are ongoing. Many individuals who are in jail are still awaiting their trial. If police and prosecutors are still investigating the case, they have the right to use these recorded conversations. This will include any conversations you have while visiting with loved ones.

What happens if someone admits guilt while talking to a friend or family member at a visitor on the phone?

Visits and phone calls with family and friends are not privileged like they are with an attorney. Jails and prisons give multiple warnings to inmates and the person who is visiting or who is on the other end of the phone call that the call is being recorded. There is no expectation of privacy in these situations. Yes, if the admission of guilt is made, this will most certainly be introduced as evidence in the court case against a defendant.

If a person has already been sentenced and is in state prison, any further admissions they make about crimes (whether committed outside of prison or inside the prison) could also be used against them. Recorded conversations could lead to new charges being filed against an incarcerated individual or even against their friends or family members.

Speak To An Experienced Attorney

If your loved one is in jail or prison and evidence from a phone conversation or recorded visit conversation has been introduced against them, seek legal assistance immediately. At the Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC, our skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys are ready to help. We will work to obtain all evidence being used in that case, including the recorded phone conversations or visit conversations. Our goal is to ensure that law enforcement and prosecutors have followed all proper procedures to obtain evidence, and we will actively work to get the charges against them reduced or dismissed altogether. You can contact us for a consultation on your case by clicking here or by calling as soon as possible.