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Obtaining phone records...?

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  • Obtaining phone records...?

    I was wondering if anyone could explain to me the procedure for obtaining the phone records of a (civi/non-LE) landline? Is it really as quick and easy as it is on TV?

    Many thanks.

  • #2
    No it is not at all easy ..... It's much the same as anything else you must have probable cause and it can take days if a judge grants an order. Phone records hardly ever are used in real life like they are on TV

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    • #3
      Requirements will vary from state to state. In California it just takes a subpoena issued by the District Attorney. Not a big deal. However, it may take the phone company a few days to dig up the records and respond.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bodie
        No it is not at all easy ..... It's much the same as anything else you must have probable cause and it can take days if a judge grants an order. Phone records hardly ever are used in real life like they are on TV
        Depends on the case. Phone records are often used in fraud, money laundering and narcotics conspiracy cases. In California, state officers usually need to get a search warrant for phone records, federal officers can get a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's Office. That goes for subscriber info as well as toll records.

        In a long term case with a prosecutor already assigned, it can be fairly easy to call and ask for toll records for phone number 123-4567. But it takes a while to get them from overwhelmed phone companies, and then you have to sit down and analyze them, which can take time. This is one unexciting part of that job known as "criminal investigator".

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Fraud Dog
          In California, state officers usually need to get a search warrant for phone records.
          It's been over a year since I was last involved in something where we needed phone records, but we've been getting them with just a subpoena in Orange County. Has something changed?

          BTW, are you DOI?
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            Considering you're in New Zealand, legal opinions from police officers in the US probably won't help you much.
            "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
            -Friedrich Nietzsche

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            • #7
              Hey Bing, I live here but I'm not from here (New Zealand that is).

              To be honest I'm a big supporter of the police, always have been. I write crime stories and an element that I'm keen to include is the labourious reality of getting the paperwork in order and making sure people don't get off on technicalities.

              So the scenario I've been thinking about is -

              Murder victims phone records obtained to see who called them - how long would that take and what hoops would you have to jump through to make sure that all the right things were done?

              How would you know that a number was from a public phone booth rather than a private number?

              If a call is identified as coming from a phone booth, then how would you locate it?

              Big sorry for the long post. Hope someone can help as I really am keen to remind people of those hard (sometimes boring, taxing and dangerous) yards LEO's tread everyday. Feel free to PM if you'd rather not return post. G73

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              • #8
                Most pay phones (if you can still find one in the age of cell phones) have unique prefix numbers.
                But who would want to read about sitting in a hot office, day after day, pouring over telephone numbers, and the agony of tracing each number to a subscriber. It better be a big case to justify the man hours.
                "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                John Stuart Mill

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                • #9
                  actually what you need to do is drop 4 quarters into a payphone, type in the needed phone number backwards, and hit the change return button. It works every time!!!!!
                  www.officerdownbracelets.com
                  R.L.T.W

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                  • #10
                    If some police officer have laptops in there cars do you have internet access? If so could you use the net to do a search for the number or do a rev search to get the address?

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