Can a police officer use a confiscated cell phone to make calls/send textstoa suspect’s phone contacts pretending to be the suspect?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a police officer use a confiscated cell phone to make calls/send textstoa suspect’s phone contacts pretending to be the suspect?

My brother was arrested yesterday and they took his cell phone as evidence. When my other brother tried calling him on the phone, a CHP officer answered and was interrogating him on what he knew about my brother who was arrested. Later that evening the officer sent a text from my brother’s obtained phone and sent it to my other brother telling him that he is possible accomplice and to come and write a statement or they would serve a warrant for his arrest. He was also calling my brother’s contacts pretending to be my brother to obtain info on him. Is this legal?

Asked on June 29, 2011 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I think that we can all safely assume that what is going on is way beyond the scope of proper investigation.  He obviously can not pretend to be our brother to obtain information.  He has a duty to properly identify himself as a police officer and really he can not be calling from your brother's phone.  If it was taken as evidence then it should have been what is known as vouchered: turned in to the department's evidence room and tagged as part of the arrest.  I think that you should speak with an attorney in your area on this matter.  Not only to obtain help for your brother but to put a stop to this harassment.  Consider a formal complaint against the officer.  Good luck. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption