Your Rights When You Are Detained: Do You Really Get A Phone Call?
May 19, 2023 | Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law
One common question criminal defense attorneys receive is whether or not a client will be allowed to make a phone call if they are arrested or detained in jail.
This blog will provide an answer to this question and explain other rights you have when you’re arrested or detained by the police in California.
What Rights Do You Have When You’re Arrested in California?
First and foremost, it is important to understand that if you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions from law enforcement without first speaking with an attorney. It is always a good idea to exercise this right, as anything you say can be used against you in court.
Along with the right to remain silent, you also have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you free of charge. This is known as your Miranda rights, which you may have heard recited on television shows or in movies.
The Miranda warning is a requirement for all police officers to notify suspects of their rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning.
Are You Allowed To Make a Phone Call When You’re Detained By the Police in California?
Now, let’s talk about the right to a phone call. Contrary to popular belief, the right to a phone call is not actually a constitutional right. However, many states and local jurisdictions have laws that require law enforcement to allow a person who has been arrested or detained to make at least one phone call within a reasonable amount of time after being taken into custody.
For example, California law allows a detained person to make at least three completed telephone calls no later than three hours after arrest. The call is free of charge if it is made within the local area; otherwise, the detainee must make the call at their own expense.
The purpose of the phone calls is to allow the individual to contact an attorney, a bail bondsman, or someone who can help them make arrangements for their release from custody.
It is also important to note that the right to a phone call does not extend to any and all calls that a person may want to make. In other words, if you are arrested, you will not be allowed to make unlimited calls to friends or family members. The right to a phone call is strictly limited to those necessary for legal and practical purposes related to your detention.
However, in California, if you have minor children, you are entitled to two additional phone calls to arrange childcare in your absence.
Other Rights You Have When Arrested or Detained in California
Another important right that you have when you are arrested or detained is the right to medical care. If you need medical attention while in custody, law enforcement must provide it to you. Failure to do so could result in a violation of your rights.
Additionally, if you are being held in jail, you have the right to reasonable accommodations if you have a disability. This means that the facility must provide you with appropriate accommodations, such as wheelchair access or interpreters if you are deaf or hard of hearing.
Contact a Redwood City Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help Protecting Your Legal Rights
If you are arrested or detained in jail, you do have the right to make a phone call, but this right is not absolute. It is important to remember that this right only extends to phone calls that are necessary for legal and practical purposes related to your detention.
Along with the right to a phone call, you also have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, the right to medical care, and the right to reasonable accommodations if you have a disability. If you believe that any of these rights have been violated, speak with an experienced Redwood City criminal defense attorney to discuss your options.
Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law – San Jose Office
1625 The Alameda, Suite 405, San Jose, CA 95126
Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law – Redwood City Office
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