Apr 25

The lawyers at Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh have a wealth of experience representing people that were the target of a search warrant. This includes searches of homes, vehicles, and wiretap investigations. If you or someone you know has been charged because of a search warrant, please give us a call at 416-613-0416 to schedule a consultation.

Can the Police Tap my Phone?

Yes. A wiretap, also known as a “legal interception,” is a form of electronic surveillance in which law enforcement officers listen in on phone conversations, voicemail messages, and other forms of communication. Wiretapping can also refer to the interception of text messages, emails, or other electronic messages.

Wiretapping is authorized by a court order, which allows law enforcement to monitor a suspect’s communications for a limited period. The purpose of wiretapping is to gather evidence in criminal investigations, such as drug trafficking, terrorism, and organized crime.

When Can the Police Intercept my Phone Calls?

The threshold for naming a person as a “known person” is therefore a low one: anyone may be named whose identity is known and whose communications may assist in the investigation. Where both components of the test are met, the Affiant is under an obligation to “name” that person. In R. v. Mahal, Watt J.A. explained that:

The threshold for describing a person as a “known” in a supporting affidavit is a modest one. Investigators need not have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the person was involved in the commission of an offence being investigated. Provided investigators know the identity of the person and have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the interception of that person’s private communications may assist the investigation of an offence, that person is a “known” for the purposes of s. 185(1)(e).

. . .

I am satisfied that neither the provisions of Part VI nor the controlling jurisprudence supports the creation of two classes of “known” persons in the authorizations. The test for including any named person in the supportive affidavit and consequent authorization is a threshold described in Chesson. The distinction between “Principal Known Persons” and “Other Known Persons” may serve other useful purposes in an authorization, but neither the statute nor controlling jurisprudence requires or furnishes a legal basis for such a distinction.

A corollary of the low threshold for naming a known person is that such a person need not be implicated in the offence being investigated and may be an entirely innocent third party. A person is not named because she is believed to be involved in crime; rather, the test is relational.