Will My “One Call” from Jail Be Recorded?

Maverick Ray Law
June 28, 2023

When Your Phone Call from Jail Can and Can’t Be Used Against You

You were just arrested and thrown in jail. You have been waiting for hours to get that one phone call. Finally, they come and get you and bring you to the phone. Who do you call? And what do you say? The message says the call is being recorded - but do they really listen? The answer is YES.

If you have recently been arrested, you need an experienced and aggressive Houston criminal defense lawyer on your side. At Maverick Ray & Associates, our legal team is passionate about helping our clients through challenging times. Our attorneys are proud to represent the people of Houston and are ready and willing to fight on your behalf. Call (281) 672-8029 today to arrange a FREE consultation with a top criminal defense attorney in Houston.

Do the Police Listen to Jail Calls?

Absolutely. It is very common for officers, jail officials, and prosecutors to listen to recorded call audio. In fact, The Texas Department of Criminal Justice advises all call participants they will monitor and record the conversation. That is why in most cases, a message plays at the beginning of each call, warning the caller and call recipient that the calls may be monitored and recorded.

Despite the automated warning, most people choose to ignore the fact that the authorities may be listending and talk about details of the case against them to their family and friends. Unfortunately, doing so can lead to dire consequences.

Why Law Enforcement and Prosecutors Listen to Recorded Calls

There are several reasons why officials listen to calls made from jail. Officers and jail officials primarily monitor and record jail calls for security reasons. Calls can alert them to an inmate’s plans to escape or illegal activity occurring inside or outside of jail.

Prosecutors listen to recorded calls for different reasons. They look for evidence, such as details of an illegal incident or admissions of guilt made by the caller or call recipient.

Are There Any Calls That Are Not Recorded?

Most calls are recorded. The only exceptions are calls made between an inmate and their lawyer. That is because these calls are subject to the attorney-client privilege, and if the call is recorded, it is a direct violation of the inmate’s 6th Amendment rights.

In the past, law enforcement could manually disconnect the recording device when an attorney was going to speak with their client. However, with most jails now having automated systems recording their calls, many attorney-client calls are being unlawfully recorded.

Can Recorded Calls Be Used Against You?

Yes. Recorded calls you make from jail can be used against you. Officials will listen for any evidence you divulge during the conversation, including details of the alleged crime, any efforts to intimidate potential witnesses, the stated involvement of additional parties, and, most importantly, any admission of your participation or guilt.

Speak with a Leading Criminal Defense Lawyer in Houston, TX, for FREE

The bottom line is that you can’t ever assume what you say during your phone conversation is not being listened to and recorded. In fact, there is a very high probability that your call is being monitored and recorded for further review by law enforcement or the district attorney. That means that everything you say - and the other party you are speaking with says - can damage the outcome of your criminal case.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, you need a dedicated legal team. Our Houston criminal defense attorneys will help walk you through the process and work hard to have your current charges reduced or even dismissed. When you work with Maverick Ray & Associates, you work with a team that is dedicated to protecting your rights and freedom. Contact us online or call (281) 672-8029 to arrange a FREE, no-obligation case review with a top criminal defense lawyer in Houston.