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Provisions inapplicable to recording of certain telephone calls by public utility

Defense Lawyer Explains Utility Right to Intercept Communications N.R.S. 179.458


Under Nevada law, there are very strict rules regarding the recording of telephone calls and the interception of oral or wire communications. These rules are set forth within a section of Nevada’s Code of Criminal Procedure called Interception of Wire or Oral Communication.  Nevada Revised Statute sections 179.410 through 179.515 are found within this section of the criminal procedure code and these statutes explain when and how orders allowing the interception of communications are issued and how recordings must work.

The relevant section of Nevada’s criminal procedure code imposes these many different mandates in order to protect the privacy of people who wish to communicate without state intrusion, and protects the constitutional rights of those who are under investigation for criminal acts. However, the law also does make an exception and make certain provisions of Nevada’s rules on intercepting wire or oral communications inapplicable to public utilities.

To better understand the rules related to the interception of communications, you should speak with a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. LV Criminal Defense can help you to make sure that your right to privacy is respected and can help you to argue against the admissibility of evidence collected through unlawful interception of your communications.

To find out more about how Nick Wooldridge can assist you, give us a call today.

The Rules for Public Utilities and Interception of Communications

N.R.S. 179.458 is the statute which creates an exception from some of the rules related to interception of communications for public utilities. According to N.R.S. 179.458, provisions of Nevada’s criminal procedure code related to intercepting communications do not apply to the recording of certain phone calls that is done by public utility providers. The regulations found within N.R.S. 179.410 through N.R.S. 179.515 are all inapplicable to public utilities when certain calls are recorded.

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The regulations do not apply to the recording of telephone calls done by a public utility pursuant to Nevada Revised Statute section 704.195. N.R.S 704.195 mandates that a public utility is permitted to record a telephone call that is made concerning an emergency. A public utility is also allowed to record a telephone call relating to a service outage.

Such phone calls can be recorded provided that the calls are received on a line that has been specifically designated as an emergency line or are received on a line that has been specifically designated as a number to call to report outages. The number of the emergency line or the line where outages can be reported must be listed in a telephone directory and the publication which lists the relevant telephone numbers must provide notice to callers of those numbers that the call is subject to being recorded and that any conversations recorded on the line can be disclosed by any person.

The exception is necessary because certain phone calls – like calls to 911 – are recorded and public utilities cannot go through complex legal channels in order to get permission to record every single telephone call that comes in.

Getting Help from a Nevada Defense Lawyer

While public utilities do not have to comply with Nevada’s rules and restrictions on interception of communications under these designated circumstances, law enforcement officials conducting an investigation do have to comply with rules aimed at protecting privacy. When a failure to follow the law occurs by police or any investigators and calls are recorded unlawfully, any information that is obtained through the interception of the private communication cannot be utilized against a defendant in criminal proceedings.

A Las Vegas criminal defense attorney can provide invaluable assistance to defendants in understanding the rules regarding the interception of communications.

Our legal team will make sure your right to private communication is respected and will help you to keep evidence out of court if it was collected in violation of that right. To find out more about the assistance that LV Criminal Defense can provide, give us a call today.

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