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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20288
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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Who has access to jail house tapes, just cops and prosecutors?

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Who has access to jail house tapes, just cops and prosecutors? Can a lawyer get them, or a private investigator?

Thank you for your question. An attorney could subpoena that tapes as a part of discovery for a case that is directly related to the subject of the tapes. So, for example, if the prosecution was using the recordings against a defendant in a criminal case, the defense attorney would have a right to copies as a part of discovery. On the other hand, if there was a different case, like a civil suit related to something said in the tapes, the person's attorney who wants the tapes would have to subpoena them. A private investigator could not have access to the tapes, unless an attorney who subpoenaed them, shared them with the PI.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What if an inmate is talking to a "victm", and the the cops are listening to the tapes, and the "victim" is telling the inmate about a lot of crimes she has done? Shouldn't the cops arrest her? Or do they just ignore that because that will hurt their case against the inmate?

Hello again and thank you for your reply. I can't second guess a specific set of facts and why the State might or might not make arrests or file charges. I can only address questions, like the one you originally asked. But, I can say that prosecutors have full discretion as to when charges are filed and prosecuted. That means that not all crimes are charged. However, I would say that the defense attorney for the "inmate," if they have not yet been tried in their case, should use the taped information to impeach the "victim" when they testify in the case against the inmate. In other words, the defense counsel and make the victim look like the criminal with this information and challenge their honesty in their testimony. Ultimately though, it is up to the State to decide who they do and don't prosecute for crimes. Not fair, but it is legal.
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