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Old August 29, 2012, 12:39 AM   #1
Caboclo
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When To Make The Phone Call

I read an article today on CNN about how to survive being arrested. I regret that I cannot provide the link; it seems to have been purged. It was in the context of a minor alcohol-related arrest, but author stated that when you were granted your phone call in jail, you would not be allowed to pull a phone number off your cell, and in some cases you could only call a land line. Does anyone have any insight on this? Do I need to make sure my attorney has a land line and memorize the number? In the context of a shooting incident, I've always been taught that once I call 911 I should stay on the line with them till they let me go. Assuming the cops show up pretty quickly, I won't have time to call my attorney before they cuff me, so my only option for getting the word out would be the call from jail.
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Old August 29, 2012, 03:11 AM   #2
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My call will be to my wife. She'll take care of the rest of the calling with no limitations.
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Old August 29, 2012, 05:01 AM   #3
Crazy88Fingers
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I'm pretty sure the jail phone doesn't know what kind of phone is on the other end.
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Old August 29, 2012, 06:30 AM   #4
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My call would be to my wife. She would cover the rest of my needs..... Unless it was for something stupid, then I have a feeling I'd sit in the can for a bit.
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Old August 29, 2012, 07:06 AM   #5
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Many places do not let you have access to a "free" phone... Your call with have to go to a land line set up to take collect calls... Cable TV supplied phones need set up to receive collect calls...

Some small jails will let the inmate get a number from the cell phone but that is far and away the exception and not the rule...

Brent
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Old August 29, 2012, 08:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy88Fingers
I'm pretty sure the jail phone doesn't know what kind of phone is on the other end.
If you're calling from the inside, that's probably true. However, some jails have phones that will not accept calls from a cell phone. I've tried to call clients who were in jail from my cell phone in the past, without success.

My plan is much like Sport45's: Should I ever be involved in a shooting, my call will be to my wife, and she'll make the rest of the calls. Should she be unavailable for whatever reason, I'm not above politely requesting a second call. There's no law of which I am aware that says that the jail is prohibited from allowing a second or subsequent call.

Edited to add: The jail likely has a phone book, so you can also ask to look at that. However, even if your lawyer has a landline, you may be out of luck if the shooting happens after business hours, while the attorney is in court, while the attorney is on vacation, etc. Prudence tells me to operate on the assumption that I will be unable to reach an attorney on the first try.
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Last edited by Spats McGee; August 29, 2012 at 08:33 AM.
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Old August 29, 2012, 08:43 AM   #7
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This is a great thread to be paying attention to.
I joined the Texas Law Shield program over a year ago. But I never thought about making sure my prettier half has the phone and member number along with the rest of my emergency contact info.
That will change in the immediate future.
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Old August 29, 2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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Depends on the officers booking you.

First, you are not entitled to a phone call unless it is to a lawyer

Last time I was arrested (it was college, give me a break), I was not allowed to make the call from my cell phone, but the booking officer did get it from property for me so I could look up a friend's number in order to call for a pick-up.

The pay phone in the holding cell did not work, so all calls had to be made from the desk and it was at the officers' discretion whether to allow it of not - if you couldn't get a ride, you got to go to court the next morning. If you could, and if you were allowed to make a call and get PR release - you at least got to show up to court showered
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Old August 30, 2012, 08:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stressfire
. . . .First, you are not entitled to a phone call unless it is to a lawyer . . . .
I will admit to not having researched this issue, but I'm not convinced that the above statement is true. I've also never heard of an arrestee being denied a phone call just because it was to someone other than a lawyer. When I was in private practice, my business cards had a series of statements on the back for my clients to give to the police. One of those statements was, "I want to call a lawyer and call a member of my family."
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Old August 30, 2012, 11:28 AM   #10
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Spatz if you ever move to AZ let me know I want to put on retainer.
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Old August 30, 2012, 01:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
I will admit to not having researched this issue, but I'm not convinced that the above statement is true.
It's possible I may be wrong, but AFAIK you are entitled to contact an attorney and, if underage, a parent. Anyone else you are allowed to call is at their discretion. If that's incorrect, let me know, I'll own it
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Old August 30, 2012, 02:53 PM   #12
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Stressfire, I don't have time to research it right now, but I'll look into it. I do believe that the entitlement extends beyond just an attorney, though. Bail bondsmen and family members come to mind. Regardless, I will take a look at the issue. If Bartholomew Roberts or Frank Ettin or one of our other attorney members happens to know the answer, they could save me some trouble here. (hint, hint)

I would also emphasize that what we're talking about is the number of free phone calls to which an arrestee is entitled, not the number he or she actually gets, or when. I feel pretty confident saying that an arrestee who is generally courteous to the police (even if he is asserting his right to remain silent) may well get more phone calls and get them sooner than one who is combative and ill-behaved.

ltc444, thanks! I'll do that.
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:55 PM   #13
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I'm not a lawer and haven't stayed at a Holiday Inn in a long time, but couldn't you ask for a call to seek representation and then call your wife (or anyone else) to secure the service for you?
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Old August 31, 2012, 03:48 AM   #14
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I was arrested on a misdemeanor in 2002. By the time I got booked I couldn't make a call because the phones got shut off at 9pm. I would have to wait until morning for my call. It was $4.25 for the first minute and $0.25 there after. No other way to call but collect. Back then it cost $64 per day in jail.
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Old August 31, 2012, 05:12 AM   #15
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I'd call a bail bonding agency, numbers often provided by the jailers, and have them make any necessary calls on your behalf while also making your bail.
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Old August 31, 2012, 09:46 AM   #16
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Well, I haven't had the time to dig very far into the ConLaw research to get the answer to this, but I did take the time to kick it around with a buddy of mine who is an attorney and a former probation officer. He is of the opinion, & it's an opinion that I trust, that the US Constitution* does not require that jails allow any phone calls upon arrest. He thinks that's a myth. That said, we both agree that as a matter of courtesy, most jails will allow you one call. It may simply be that the only thing required by the federal constitution is the prompt first appearance.

Sport45 -- Sort of. Unless your wife or the other person that you call is an attorney, they're not entitled to represent you in court. I've gotten enough calls from family members to know that around here, calling family members is permitted*. Other than that, it's a good plan. A family member who's not in jail can make all the calls that they want to. I'd suggest making sure that your wife or other significant other has all of the important phone numbers already programmed into his or her phone.

*=YMMV in your jurisdiction. State constitutions may contain more protections or require different things than the US Constitution, as long as they do not violate the US Constitution.
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Old September 4, 2012, 07:42 PM   #17
SouthernMarine
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OP: About the phone call in jail, I am a former corrections deputy, I worked at our county jail a little over a year, while we didn't mind who you called (as long as it was not the victim of a crime you committed) we would not allow inmates to get phone numbers off of their cellphone as we had to secure it upon the inmate's arrival.

My suggestion to you would be to memorize the phone number you would like to call or have it written down on a piece of paper in your pocket. Many inmates came in with contact info on paper and we would allow them to see that, but not their cellphone.
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Old September 5, 2012, 06:27 PM   #18
Stressfire
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Quote:
we would not allow inmates to get phone numbers off of their cellphone as we had to secure it upon the inmate's arrival
There may also be a big difference in the way a county jail operates as opposed to a city drunk tank, where most residents are only there for the night
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Old September 5, 2012, 07:00 PM   #19
SouthernMarine
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Quote:
There may also be a big difference in the way a county jail operates as opposed to a city drunk tank, where most residents are only there for the night
This is very true, I do know that every jail operates differently, it really all depends on the correctional officers in the facility. I would recommend, however, that you memorize a number.
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Old September 7, 2012, 10:27 PM   #20
Caboclo
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Thanks for all the replies. Some good food for thought.
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Old September 10, 2012, 08:00 PM   #21
ClydeFrog
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Massad Ayoob, legal advice...

Sworn LE officer, tactics instructor and author; Massad Ayoob advises gun owners/concealed license holders to have a qualified lawyer or law firm ready-available BEFORE you get into a lethal force event or arrest for a use of force incident.
He suggests keeping the law firm's business card with your carry permit.

When I was arrested in the spring of 2012 for minor offenses(all charges were later dismissed & the entire case closed), the county jail had phones available but you could only make collect calls.
The court/booking staff member allowed inmates to make calls on a office phone & the corrections officers allowed most of the holding area inmates to contact bail/bond agents.
The main point in a LE contact is to: STAY SILENT! Control your emotions and do not make any statements that may be used against you later.
Also, keep in mind that audio & video systems may be recording you(and maybe your phone calls). Many cops lie about "off the record" remarks but don't fall for it. Talk to a atty with a good law firm or background with criminal defense(use of force) cases.
Be smart, keep your wits about you and keep your yapper shut!
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Old September 10, 2012, 11:09 PM   #22
ltc444
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Remember all attorneys are not the same. Many 2A lawyers talk a good game but when it comes down to the nut cutting they fold.

I have selected lawyers whom the cops go to in their wrongful shootings. An attorney recommended by a bail bonds man is generally not your best choice. A friend of mine, over my objections, selected a 2a lawyer here in AZ who managed to defend her attacker at the expense of his client. She is now on probation while her attacker continues to harass her.
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