Finding yourself under arrest for domestic violence and in jail is – without any doubt – an isolating experience. It’s only natural to want to reach out to your friends or family members for some help.
Just be very careful if you decide to do that over a jailhouse phone. In Texas, jail calls are subject to monitoring and recording, and far too many inmates make some serious mistakes with them. Here are things you need to remember:
1. Your case is not too insignificant for your calls to be monitored.
Sure, prosecutors are busy and they have much bigger cases than yours to handle – but don’t make the mistake of thinking that your case is so small that the prosecution won’t listen to everything you say on the phone looking for evidence. They can, and they will, so don’t say anything at all about your case, the trial, the court officers, your plans or the alleged victim.
2. You cannot talk in code and think that’s enough to avoid trouble.
A lot of people mistakenly believe that, if they don’t say something clearly, it won’t be useful in court. However, prosecutors have heard it all, and they’re good at picking out coded messages and decoding them for juries. For example, telling your cousin to talk to “your mutual friend” (your alleged victim) about “making things right” (recanting their story) isn’t going to fool anybody. It’s likely to get you and your cousin in further legal trouble.
3. You do not want to make any threats, even in jest.
If you’re recorded making threats against the alleged victim, their other family members, the prosecutor, the judge or anybody else involved in your case, you can easily find yourself with a whole new list of charges. Claiming that you were just blowing off steam or joking will not help.
When you’re in trouble with a domestic violence claim, the wisest thing you can do is focus on finding the legal help you need.