Wiretap Orders Harder for Police to Get than Search Warrants

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 29, 2012 | 0 Comments

We all know the police generally must get a warrant before they can search someone's home and seize property. This means going before a judge and demonstrating “probable cause” that criminal activity is taking place at the location.

But judges have wide discretion in granting search warrants, and the criminal activity in question can be practically anything.

Not so with wiretaps. California wiretapping laws (Penal Code 631) make it illegal for private parties to wiretap phones. And they strictly limit the conditions under which even police can employ wiretaps as a law enforcement tool.

Basically court orders for wiretaps can only be granted to investigate the most serious crimes, such as murder or kidnapping. Even then orders are only granted after other, less intrusive investigative means have failed. And strict time limits govern how long a wiretap order can remain in effect.

Penal Code 631 also makes it a crime for private parties to engage in wiretapping. A conviction can land a person in California state prison for up to 3 years.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Free attorney consultations...

Our attorneys want to hear your side of the story. Contact us 24/7 to schedule a FREE consultation with a criminal defense lawyer. We may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed altogether. And if necessary, we will champion your case all the way to trial.

Office Locations

Shouse Law Group has multiple locations all across California and Nevada. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Regain peace of mind...

Our defense attorneys understand that being accused of a crime is one of the most difficult times of your life. Rely on us to zealously and discreetly protect your rights and to fight for the most favorable resolution possible.

To contact us, please select your state:

Call us 24/7 (855) 396-0370