When experience matters, don’t leave your future to chance.

Photo of Professionals at JMG, PLLC
Photo of Professionals at JMG, PLLC

When experience matters, don’t leave your future to chance.

How can the prosecutor use your jailhouse calls against you?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Drug Crimes |

If you’re charged with a crime, you may be lucky enough to get (and afford) bail right away – or you may find yourself stuck in the county jail for a while.

If that happens, you need to be careful what you say on the jailhouse phone. The law says that inmates in correctional facilities do not have any right to privacy when they’re making phone calls to anybody but their attorney. Unfortunately, far too many defendants think that their cases are “too small” for a prosecutor to care what they might say on the phone to their friends and relatives – but that’s far from true. 

Since your jailhouse calls are recorded, the prosecutor’s office can go through them at their leisure, and they often do. Here’s why:

They can listen for incriminating information

It doesn’t matter if you speak in code or use pseudonyms when you’re talking about certain people, the prosecutor’s office and investigators can figure it out. If you talk on the phone about your case – whether you mention possible witnesses or evidence – you could give prosecutors new avenues to research for ammunition they can use against you. If you say anything at all that’s self-incriminating, you can expect the recording to be played in court.

They can use the information to pile on new charges

People say a lot of things they don’t mean when they’re upset, and they do foolish things – but nothing can be worse for a defendant than making threats on a jailhouse phone. Another issue arises when defendants call the alleged victim or the witnesses in their case. If the prosecutor hears you’ve done that – or asked someone you called to do that on your behalf – you could be charged with witness intimidation or tampering. This happens quite often in domestic violence cases, but it can also happen with drug crimes, assaults and more.

If you’re facing charges, don’t allow your need to communicate with your loved ones to damage your defense. Talk about your need for commissary items or emotional support – not your case.