Can a Controlled Telephone Call or Wiretap be Used as Evidence in a Child Abuse / Molestation Case?
By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
Evidence can be presented in different forms and a civil or criminal case involving the molestation or an abuse of a child. A controlled recorded telephone call or a wiretap can serve as evidence in these cases. A controlled recorded telephone call or a wiretap is set up and coached to some extent by the police or investigators.
In some cases, where there is a lack of corroborating witness statements and a lack of forensic evidence, a controlled telephone call or wiretap can serve as key evidence of case. Some States have laws in place with regards to the use of wiretaps for controlled telephone calls. In some States, it is illegal to wiretap or record a telephone call without the knowledge of each party on the line OR without a proper warrant from a law enforcement agency. This applies the same for recording conversations in person.
For instance, let's say a person records a telephone call without the knowledge of the alleged perpetrator. The telephone call, according to State law requires a warrant in order to set up a wiretap or record a telephone call or conversation. Otherwise, each person to the recorded conversation must be aware that the conversation is being recorded. In this case, there was no warrant and the alleged perpetrator call was not aware that the conversation was being recorded. During the recorded conversation, the perpetrator admits to the alleged acts of sexual abuse in molestation. While it would appear on the face of things that there is a strong case against alleged perpetrator, the use of the wiretap or recorded conversation may not be used in the civil or criminal case. If there is a lack of other evidence on the case, the alleged perpetrator may go free and may not be subjected to a civil judgment unless other evidence can be used to prove the elements of the case.
Because of the complexities of the laws in place as to wiretap and controlled telephone calls, it is important to consult with a Child Injury Lawyer on these matters for advice, consultation, and the legal representation. Furthermore, a controlled phone call should be done with the oversight and oversight and supervision of the investigating officers and detectives. A controlled phone call or wiretap may be set up between the child victim in the perpetrator depending on the age, maturity, and stability of the child to handle the situation. The controlled phone call or wiretap may also be set up with a parent or other person who is able to engage in a conversation with the alleged perpetrator.