During the phase of a Florida criminal case known as “discovery”, the State discloses the evidence and witnesses it would use against you or your loved one at trial in a document titled “State’s Discovery Exhibit.” Sometimes in that document, the State lists “jail calls” as some of its evidence. Whenever I see that, I cringe.
As a general rule, lawyers or loved ones cannot call into a Florida detention facility to speak with an inmate. Rather, the inmate must initiate the call. And, inmate calls are recorded. The parties to the call are warned the call is recorded. Furthermore, those recordings are reviewed for both security concerns and for incriminating evidence. And, if you think you’ll avoid scrutiny by speaking a foreign language, you’re wrong. Foreign language calls are translated and reviewed too.
Despite being warned that all conversations during jail calls are being monitored, in many cases jail calls provide damaging evidence against the caller. There are several reasons this occurs. First, the caller may not truly hear or appreciate the warning that all calls are recorded. Second, oftentimes the caller is upset at being arrested and makes statements they later regret. Finally, sometimes the caller has been incarcerated for long enough that they let their defenses down and say things that come back to haunt them. Continue reading