Criminal Attorney Defense Donte Wyatt ESQ

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Wire Taps

Donte T Wyatt - 

  • If you've been the victim of wire taps find out what a criminal attorney can do. 

Wire Taps

Wire taps present a formidable obstacle to effective criminal defense due to the fact that it is likely that the person charged has been recorded making admissions and or incriminating statements. However an experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to effectively evaluate a wire tap and organize an effective defense despite such an obstacle. A wire tap is an investigative tool that the court will allow for the investigation of certain offenses when other traditional methods of investigative have proven ineffective. Therefore, the law enforcement organization has to establish that the wiretap is the only way in which they can effectively investigate the target crime. The law enforcement officer has to file an application that outlines the probably cause and their prior efforts to use traditional investigative methods.

wire taps

Each application for an order authorizing the interception of a wire or electronic communication shall be made in writing upon the personal oath or affirmation of the Attorney General, Chief Deputy Attorney General, or Chief Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Law Division, or of a district attorney, or the person designated to act as district attorney in the district attorney's absence, to the presiding judge of the superior court or one other judge designated by the presiding judge. An ordered list of additional judges may be authorized by the presiding judge to sign an order authorizing an interception. One of these judges may hear an application and sign an order only if that judge makes a determination that the presiding judge, the first designated judge, and those judges higher on the list are unavailable.

Wire taps are a unique investigative tool because it allows law enforcement official to intercept and listen into the conversations of people believed to be engaged in criminal conduct. This tool is a critical part of large scale narcotics investigations. Major Narcotic cases can be investigated in a variety of ways. First luck, an officer can come upon a person transporting a large amount of narcotics during a traffic stop. This is some what unusual. Furthermore an experienced criminal defense attorney would recognize this reality and evaluate the incident accordingly.  

Often times stops of this nature are a product of information that may be directly known by the arresting officer or the arresting officer could have simply been an agent of other officers, detectives and or federal Special Agents. This is referred to as a "wall stop". A wall stop can be the product of information obtained from a wiretap, or a cooperating individual. The arresting officer is directed to find a legal basis to stop the target. 

Once the officer is able to establish independent reasonable suspicion or probable cause, the officer must next execute a search of the vehicle. The officer can accomplish this in a variety of ways. First, the officer can ask the target for consent to search the vehicle. Yes, people often consent to a search of their vehicle knowing that they have contraband in their vehicle. In addition, some people feel that they can not refuse to allow the officer to search their vehicle. Secondly, if a person has a fourth amendment waiver because they are on probation or parole then that is an open invitation to the officer to search the vehicle. A fourth amendment waiver is when a person waives his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure within the meaning of the 4th amendment of the United States Constitution. In addition, if the target does not consent to a search and does not have a 4th amendment waiver then the officer must establish probably cause. The officer can establish probable cause based on the scent of narcotics, observed by the officer or by a canine. However, if the officer happens to have a canine readily available that can also be a red flag as to the officer having additional information that constitute the stop as a wall stop. 

In the case of a wiretap a wall stop can be a critical part of the on going investigation. While the wiretap is on going if investigators want to get drugs off of the street they can not openly reveal the existence of the wire tap because that would undermine their on going investigation. Hence, the wall stop can be a critical part of the wire tap investigation. 

An experienced criminal defense attorney will recognize these nuances in a major narcotics investigations. It is critical for you to retain a criminal defense attorney to help you understand and navigate your way through the criminal justice system. 

Each application shall include all of the following information:

(1) The identity of the investigative or law enforcement officer making the application, and the officer authorizing the application.

(2) The identity of the law enforcement agency that is to execute the order.

(3) A statement attesting to a review of the application and the circumstances in support thereof by the chief executive officer, or his or her designee, of the law enforcement agency making the application. This statement shall name the chief executive officer or the designee who effected this review.

(4) A full and complete statement of the facts and circumstances relied upon by the applicant to justify his or her belief that an order should be issued, including
(A) details as to the particular offense that has been, is being, or is about to be committed,
(B) the fact that conventional investigative techniques had been tried and were unsuccessful, or why they reasonably appear to be unlikely to succeed or to be too dangerous,
(C) a particular description of the nature and location of the facilities from which or the place where the communication is to be intercepted,
(D) a particular description of the type of communication sought to be intercepted, and
(E) the identity, if known, of the person committing the offense and whose communications are to be intercepted, or if that person's identity is not known, then the information relating to the person's identity that is known to the applicant.

(5) A statement of the period of time for which the interception is required to be maintained, and if the nature of the investigation is such that the authorization for interception should not automatically terminate when the described type of communication has been first obtained, a particular description of the facts establishing probable cause to believe that additional communications of the same type will occur thereafter.

An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to evaluate if the prosecutor and law enforcement agency followed all of the protocols required to get and ultimately maintain the wire tap. If the law enforcement agency or the prosecutor allowed false or misleading information to be in the application or the renewal reports the court may suppress the evidence obtained from the wire taps. Attorney Donte T. Wyatt spent multiple years working in the Major Narcotics Unit dealing with wire tap investigation and he has the experience and ability to effectively mount a defense in a wire tap case.

Wire taps present a formidable obstacle to effective criminal defense due to the fact that it is likely that the person charged has been recorded making admissions and or incriminating statements. But wiretaps have issues as well and those can be discussed with Donte Wyatt who has spent years working with these types of application.


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 Donte T Wyatt ESQ


1010 Second Ave
Ste # 1020
San Diego, CA, 92101



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