Can a person be prosecuted if they recieved a call from an inmate that was using a smuggled cell phone?

UPDATED: May 13, 2009

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Can a person be prosecuted if they recieved a call from an inmate that was using a smuggled cell phone?

Asked on May 13, 2009 under Criminal Law, South Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

You have violated no law by simply receiving a cell phone call from an inmate.  You may not even have committed a crime if you were the one to smuggle it into him/her.  While there are penalties for smuggling in contraband to an inmate, a cell phone is generally not considered as such.  While some states do have specific laws concerning cell phones smuggling I couldn't find any under South Carolina law.  Basically its just seems to be treated as an administrative matter.

This cell phone use however is a growing problem and is taken seriously.  Recently South Carolina tried to jam all cell phone communications from prisons because many inmates conduct drug deals and other criminal enterprises while inside.  One case even had an inmate use a cell phone to order a hit on a witness that was to testify against him.

Bottom line, while I don't think that this activity has yet been criminalized in SC you could run any concerns that you may have by a licensed criminal attorney in the state just to be sure.


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