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What Happens After You've Been Charged of Wiretapping

Handling California & Federal Wiretapping Cases

Wiretapping cases are extremely complicated. You need an attorney that understands the complexity of the wiretap statutes, both state and federal. The government, both California and Federal, has the right to wiretap in certain cases. The law is very particular as to the circumstances and procedures in which a legal wiretap can be obtained. A Judge must approve of the wiretap warrant in advance, and it must be limited in duration.

If it is extended in time, that must also be approved by the Judge. An experienced and skillful attorney can often successfully challenge the wiretap evidence and have it excluded from the case, which can lead to a dismissal of the entire case. Kenneth H. Lewis has over 42 years of experience in challenging wiretaps, including one of the only wiretap cases to reach the California Supreme Court, People vs. Leon, which he personally argued before the court in 2007.

In What Type Of Cases Are Wiretaps Typically Used?

Usually they are employed in large drug cases where the government likes to claim that it cannot possibly make its case without using wiretaps. Often the government is simply taking the easy way out and using wiretapping as a first resort instead of a necessary resort. An attorney skilled in the law of wiretapping can challenge the government's use of wiretapping in such a situation and hold its feet to the fire.

What Government Agencies Typically Use Wiretaps?

The F.B.I. and D.E.A. often use wiretaps. However, multi-agency law enforcement groups that are assembled for special purposes often use wiretaps. This might be, for example, a special joint task force for Southern California where numerous police agencies join forces to combat the importation and sales of drugs. They might have L.A.P.D., L.A. Sheriffs, D.E.A. and F.B.I. agents working together to solve cases. By pooling resources they can share information and the time and expenses of setting-up wiretap surveillances.

How Is Wiretapping Evidence Challenged In Court?

Through a type of motion called a A Motion to Suppress. The legality of the wiretapping warrant, known as an application, is challenged on legal grounds. For example, did the officers or agents asking for the warrant tell the truth in their statements contained in the application? Did they follow all the specific rules required to obtain the warrant, such as trying any reasonable investigative techniques that would have forestalled the need for wiretapping.

Can An Ordinary Criminal Lawyer Effectively Handle A Wiretapping Case?

Probably not. Because wiretaps are not used very often by the government, due to the cost and difficulty in obtaining them, relatively few attorneys have experience in dealing with wiretaps. Fewer still have the motion writing and appellate skills that may ultimately spell the difference between success and failure.

Only Hire An Attorney Experienced In Handling Wiretap Cases

Kenneth H. Lewis was admitted to practice law in California in 1976. He has successfully handled numerous state and federal wiretap cases. He practices in front of all of the courts in the State of California. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Central District Court. He has argued before the California Supreme Court in People vs. Leon, and has appeared at counsel's table during the case of California vs. Rooney, before the United States Supreme Court.

Free consultations are available. Simply call us (213) 255-3011 or contact us online. Spanish speaking personnel are available for translating. All discussions are strictly confidential.

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