Defending a New Jersey Wiretap Act Case
The “Wiretap Act”” refers to a federal law aimed at offering protection to individuals while they communicate with others. Eaves-dropping usually comes to mind at the mention of the term ‘wiretap’. The Act however protects a lot more than that, rendering it illegal to purposefully or intentionally intercept, use or disclose contents of any kind of wire, oral, or even electronic communication using a “device”. It prescribes both civil and criminal penalties for violations and provides for a range of exceptions to situations where disclosures and interceptions are legal.
Majority of these terms are defined by the act. However, federal cases which interpret it play a significant role in comprehending what they mean as well as their application to any given situation or case. Most states have in addition laws which are based on or similar to the Act.
The Wiretap Law New Jersey has can apply to two exceptions for the term “devices” without violating the Act when providing defense to accused persons. This includes telephones and such equipment which a subscriber employs while engaging in regular business operations. The aim here is allowing employers to listen-in on conversations which employees engage in with customers. Another exception is of hearing aids applied for correcting or improving subnormal hearing, though typically not to the degree where someone’s hearing gets better than normal. An individual who therefore has normal hearing cannot utilize a hearing aid with the aim of intercepting communications.
There are two basic exceptions which allow for communications to be legally intercepted under the Act. First, the term “provider” gives room for listening or monitoring of telephone calls by service providers as directed by law enforcement officials who possess a valid court order to that effect. This could be in form of search warrant. The ‘provider’ incidence applies too if prevailing conditions deem it necessary utilizing wiretaps and related gadgets for inspecting equipment during service-provision or in order to protect rights or property of the provider to avail a particular kind of service. Such acts could be necessitated when the network services of a company are unduly utilized without the consumer paying for them. Another scenario of exceptions pertains to interception of communications by law enforcement officials. This could happen if one party such as a government informant offers consent in a situation where authorities suspect you of undertaking illegal acts. Agents may under such circumstances, intercept and record your conversations with that informant.
A majority of state laws provide an allowance for recording of phone conversations by a single party. However other states require that everyone consent to telephone recordings. The Lawyers at Schneider Freiberger can help you defend a New Jersey Wiretap case and can offer competent counsel regarding what exact circumstances apply in your case.
N.J.S.A. 2A:156A-21 gives authority for any person injured or adversely affected by any electronic interception action to file Motion to Suppress contents of such intercepted wire or communication. There are various grounds under which recordings may be deemed unlawful for failing to adhere by the prescribed laws.
Most Wiretap cases in NJ come about because of a large drug sting operation, aimed at taking down a large-scale criminal enterprise. We read almost monthly about cases where the prosecutor’s office in one county or another have used a wiretap to intercept communications regarding the buying and selling of drugs. What most people don’t realize is that the Wiretap laws make it very hard for a proper wiretap warrant (also known as a Communications Data Warrant or CDW) to issue from a court. There are dozens of particular rules that apply to a New Jersey law enforcement agency obtaining a wiretap. The prosecutor’s office frequently makes mistakes when obtaining these warrants and judges can be equally ignorant when they sign the warrant.
If you or someone you know has been arrested through the use of a Wiretap in New Jersey and needs a competent lawyer who understands the intricacies of New Jersey’s Wiretap Laws, look no further than the lawyers at Schneider Freiberger, P.C.
The lawyers at Schneider Freiberger, P.C. have been defending drug charges and wiretap usage in Monmouth County and all over the State of New Jersey for more than 40 years. Dean I. Schneider, Esquire has more than a decade of experience as a prosecutor, so he understands both sides when it comes to defending against Drug Possession and Distribution Charges in New Jersey and wiretap cases in particular.
The initial consultation is always free. Call our office today at 732-747-0100 to see how we can help you. You can also contact us by email.