Wirepoints reported Chicago arrest rates were down by about half for violent crimes in 2022 from 2019. However, individuals continue to face arrest, and when it happens, it is important for them to understand they have certain rights to protect their interests and ensure a fair legal process.
One of these rights is the right to a phone call. This provision ensures that individuals in custody have the opportunity to inform someone about their situation and seek legal counsel, among other things.
The legal basis
The right to a phone call comes from the Illinois Compiled Statutes. It states that any person whom an officer places into custody has the right to make a reasonable number of completed telephone calls within a reasonable time.
The purpose of phone call rights
The right to a phone call enables individuals to notify a family member or friend about their arrest. This is especially important in cases where the arrestee’s release is contingent on posting bail or making other necessary arrangements.
Another important reason for this right is it provides the ability to contact an attorney. Arrested individuals can use this opportunity to secure legal representation, which is essential for understanding their legal rights and potential defense strategies.
Making a phone call allows individuals to document their arrest and detention. They can inform someone about the circumstances of their arrest, including any potential violations of their rights or instances of police misconduct. This external communication can help ensure due process.
In many cases, individuals under arrest may need to arrange for the care of their dependents, pets or other personal matters. The right to a phone call provides them with the means to address these responsibilities during their absence.
Law enforcement must provide arrested individuals with a reasonable opportunity to make phone calls. This does require taking into consideration factors such as the time of arrest, availability of a phone and the needs of the individual.