Prison Visits Are Not ‘Phone Calls’ Under Wiretap Act

jail-visitIf you have ever had the unfortunate need to communicate with a friend or loved one from a Pennsylvania correctional facility, you have likely heard the notice that your communication was being recorded. The significance of this warning is that communications between parties can potentially be used by the Commonwealth as evidence in a criminal prosecution. Thanks to some interesting facts in a Clinton County case, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (Com v. Fant) had to entertain the issue as to whether an inmate using a telephone to communicate with with an in-person visitor through glass could be classified as a “telephone call” under the Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act. In a 5-2 decision, the court ruled that in-person communication, using a hand set, does not fall into the PA law’s exception that permits recording of phone calls. The Legal Intelligencer provides in-depth coverage of the Pa Justice’s debate over the true definition of “telephone.”
Read another bail bond blog:  Justices: Prison Visits Not ‘Phone Calls’ Under Wiretap Act
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