You’re in serious legal trouble – the kind that lands you in jail either because you can’t get a bond or can’t afford it, and your only connection to the outside world is through your phone calls.
You’ve seen and heard the warnings that tell you that all your calls (except those with your attorney) are being recorded and monitored. You have to wonder, though, with all the calls being made every day by prisoners waiting for their trials, if authorities really listen to your calls.
You can count on it. In fact, you’d better count on it. If you make the mistake of thinking that you’re just not important enough for them to spend the time listening to those calls, that could be disastrous to your case.
How your phone calls to friends and family members can hurt your case
There are a lot of ways things can go wrong if you forget that you’re being recorded. For example:
- You could say something that directly contradicts your prior statements to the police of what you say on the stand. Changing stories can be an effective way to impeach your testimony and discredit you in front of the court.
- You could end up with new charges if you directly or indirectly violate some rule of the court. For example, asking a relative to talk to your girlfriend for you while you’re facing domestic violence charges can lead to new charges for violating a restraining order or witness intimidation.
- You could provide prosecutors with evidence that could lead to an increased sentence. It can be very tempting to make threats against the prosecutor, the judge or witnesses when you’re angry – and that can be used as aggravating factors to increase your sentence.
Talk to your loved ones over the jail phone as much as you want – but don’t discuss your case or anybody involved in it. The only time you should talk about your criminal case is when you’re speaking in private with your defense.