Was The Wiretap The Police Used On You Legal?
This is always a critical question in any type of criminal case involving surveillance: Was the wiretap or other surveillance methods used legally?
After a conviction, an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer can take your case on appeal and fight to protect your rights. Just Appeals, The Law Office Of Scott M. Davidson has decades of experience with federal criminal appeals.
Why Does It Matter?
An entire criminal case hangs in the balance when determining whether the surveillance was legal or not. If the police used illegal methods of surveillance, any of the evidence they obtained through that surveillance will be inadmissible in court. In most cases, an entire case rides on the evidence police obtain through surveillance methods like wiretapping. If that evidence is thrown out of court, the prosecuting attorney might not have enough to convict.
Title III Wiretaps
When discussing the legality of wiretapping, most people refer to Title III. Title III refers to Title III of The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (The Wiretap Act). This is a set of federal laws that has been amended numerous times over the years since its initial codification; it regulates the interception of telecommunications.
In general, it is illegal for the police to tap your phone or intercept other electronic communications without your knowledge and authorization. However, the police can obtain a warrant to authorize them to tap your phone or intercept other forms of electronic communications. There are strict regulations controlling how the police obtain warrants, how they intercept these communications, and how they use them.
Have You Been Convicted Based On Illegally Obtained Surveillance Information?
Unfortunately, people are frequently convicted based on information obtained in violation of Title III and other relevant laws. Either the defendant’s attorney failed to adequately challenge the evidence or the judge ruled improperly as to the admissibility of the evidence.
In these cases, there is an opportunity for an appeal. A successful appeal could result in your conviction being overturned.