Warning - Jail Telephone Conversations

At the Parker County jail there is a sophisticated telephone monitoring system. It records all telephone calls made with persons who are incarcerated there. While the computerized system does advise the inmate of this just before connecting the call, experience has shown such distraught persons do not truly hear or appreciate what that really means. Everything they say is recorded. That recording is then immediately available to the police and the prosecutors over a computerized system. Quite literally with the click of a mouse the authorities can review the entire content of what was said. Seemingly innocent or harmless off-hand remarks can be made into extremely dangerous pieces of evidence to be used against the citizens involved in the conversations.

A person who has been arrested - often for the first time in their lives - is frequently very upset. They say things they would never say if they were not under such stress. It is up to the family and friends who are arranging for bail and/or representation to assist them through this process and make certain they understand the dangers posed. They must be made to hear precisely what are the dangers.

Citizens accused (whether in jail or not) should never speak about the factual details or allegations to anyone (including you) at anytime unless their attorney is physically present in the room. There is basically only one confidentiality privilege remaining under Texas criminal law: the attorney-client privilege. There is no parent-child privilege. There is not even a doctor-patient privilege any longer. This means you might be compelled to testify against your loved one, particularly if you are the one on the recording with them.

They should be told not to say anything at all (whether related to their case or not) which they do not want to hear played back to the Judge and jury in the court room when they are facing trial. Even the mere use of profanity can be extremely harmful to their case.

The following is an abbreviated format that is suggested to be used to get their attention and make certain they preserve their Fifth Amendment Rights:

CRITICAL WARNING

JAIL TELEPHONE RECORDINGS

  • STOP TALKING & LISTEN CLOSELY
    This call and every telephone call you make from the jail is being tape recorded right now. A copy of that recording is available automatically to the police and the prosecutors in your case.
  • DO NOT say anything about the facts of your case.
  • DO NOT say anything at all that you do not want to hear played back to the Judge in the court room at your trial.
  • NEVER discuss your case until your attorney is physically present in the room with you.