Federal agents have long had a policy of nor recording conversations during their investigations and jotting down minimal notes about their conversation. This can create considerable problems when an accused claims that the agent does not accurately remember their conversation and there is not a recording. The Department of Justice recently issued a statement that is a small step toward changing this policy. The DOJ statement can be found here. The Huffington Post has an interesting article here.
The DOJ statement states that there is a presumption that federal agents should record interviews of people in custody. It also encourages agents to record all their contacts during an investigation. This is really only a small step toward the better policy of recording all police contacts with people. In Alaska, virtually every police-citizen contact is recorded, which can be helpful in determining what actually happened, rather than relying on an officer’s notes. One can easily argue that not recording police-citizen contacts is inconsistent with the principles of our criminal justice system.
If you have been charged with a crime, you should contact a criminal defense attorney. The Law Office of Ben Crittenden has extensive experience in criminal defense and is available for a free case evaluation at 907-771-9002. You can find more information on our federal and state criminal pages as well as our blog.