When you talk on the phone or speak to someone in your home, you have the expectation that things you say stay between you and the other party. You likely are not considering who could be listening to you or how someone could eventually use your private conversation against you at some point. However, this is possible if there is a wiretap. A wiretap is a way for law enforcement to listen to your conversations electronically, which means someone may hear anything you say on your phone.
It may surprise you to learn that, in some situations, this is legal. In fact, the things you say in your phone conversations may eventually be used as evidence to secure an arrest warrant or take other action against you. You will benefit from learning about your right to privacy, how to protect yourself when under investigation and what to do if you experience a violation of your rights.
The legality of listening to private conversations
Legal problems do not begin at the moment of arrest. The legal problems you are facing likely began the moment your name came up in an investigation or as soon as police suspected you of wrongdoing. They cannot simply arrest you on the basis of suspicion alone, which means that they will build a case that will allow them to seek an arrest warrant. In some cases, they may ask for legal permission to tap your phones in order to monitor your conversations and possibly collect enough evidence to justify an arrest.
Typically, there are restrictions on how long police can keep a wiretap on your phone. They must also only listen in on conversations that they suspect a link to the alleged criminal operation. There are also taps that can include the ability to track which numbers you dial from your phone, as well as taps that record all numbers that call your line.
Defending your rights and interests
Learning that law enforcement listened in on your phone conversations can feel like a violation. If you are under investigation or already facing criminal charges, you will benefit from seeking guidance regarding your defense options. You have rights, and law enforcement must follow proper procedures regardless of their suspicions or the allegations you are up against.