A wiretap authorization is a document issued by a judge that permits the police to eavesdrop on phone calls and other private communications. A wiretap authorization is also required if the police want to review your private text messages.
Wiretap authorizations are generally more difficult to obtain than other types of search warrants due to the high level of privacy the Criminal Code affords to private communications.
There are three types of wiretaps:
- General: Police are granted a wiretap authorization on the basis that they have “reasonable and probable” grounds to believe that the wiretap will provide evidence related to a crime;
- Consent: One party involved in the private communications consents to the wiretap authorization; and
- Emergency: Authorization is dispensed where the wiretap is immediately necessary to prevent serious harm to a person or to property.
Challenging the Validity of a Wiretap Authorization
As with search warrants, the validity of wiretap authorizations can be challenged in many ways, including:
- Challenging the accuracy of the information police provided to the judge in order to obtain the authorization;
- Questioning whether the police had “reasonable and probable grounds” to believe the wiretap would provide evidence of a crime;
- Questioning whether all other procedures were tried and failed prior to undertaking the wiretap; and
- Questioning whether the “urgency” of the situation justified dispensing with the usual process of obtaining a wiretap authorization.
Challenging wiretap authorizations is a complex process that requires the considerable resources and specialized knowledge that Hicks Adams LLP has to offer. Our lawyers have successfully challenged the validity of wiretap authorizations in numerous cases and are ready to fearlessly defend your right to have your private communications kept private.
Contact the Criminal Defence Lawyers at Hicks Adams LLP for a Free Consultation
If information gathered from a wiretap has incriminated you, contact our experienced criminal defence lawyers to review your options. The lawyers at Hicks Adams LLP have the experience and resources to vigorously defend your rights. Call us at 416-975-1700 or send us an email for a free consultation.