California Penal Code Section 851.5

851.5. (a) (1) Immediately upon being booked and, except where physically impossible, no later than three hours after arrest, an arrested person has the right to make at least three completed telephone calls, as described in subdivision (b).

(2) The arrested person shall be entitled to make at least three calls at no expense if the calls are completed to telephone numbers within the local calling area or at his or her own expense if outside the local calling area.

(b) At any police facility or place where an arrestee is detained, a sign containing the following information in bold block type shall be posted in a conspicuous place:

The arrestee has the right to free telephone calls within the local calling area, or at his or her own expense if outside the local calling area, to three of the following:

(1) An attorney of his or her choice or, if he or she has no funds, the public defender or other attorney assigned by the court to assist indigents, whose telephone number shall be posted. This telephone call shall not be monitored, eavesdropped upon, or recorded.

(2) A bail bondsman.

(3) A relative or other person.

(c) As soon as practicable upon being arrested but, except where physically impossible, no later than three hours after arrest, the arresting or booking officer shall inquire as to whether the arrested person is a custodial parent with responsibility for a minor child. The arresting or booking officer shall notify the arrested person who is a custodial parent with responsibility for a minor child that he or she is entitled to, and may request to, make two additional telephone calls at no expense if the telephone calls are completed to telephone numbers within the local calling area, or at his or her own expense if outside the local calling area, to a relative or other person for the purpose of arranging for the care of the minor child or children in the parent s absence.

(d) At any police facility or place where an arrestee is detained, a sign containing the following information in bold block type shall be posted in a conspicuous place:

The arrestee, if he or she is a custodial parent with responsibility for a minor child, has the right to two additional telephone calls within the local dialing area, or at his or her own expense if outside the local area, for the purpose of arranging for the care of the minor child or children in the parent s absence.

(e) These telephone calls shall be given immediately upon request, or as soon as practicable.

(f) The signs posted pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (d) shall make the specified notifications in English and any non-English language spoken by a substantial number of the public, as specified in Section 7296.2 of the Government Code, who are served by the police facility or place of detainment.

(g) The rights and duties set forth in this section shall be enforced regardless of the arrestee s immigration status.

(h) This provision shall not abrogate a law enforcement officer s duty to advise a suspect of his or her right to counsel or of any other right.

(i) Any public officer or employee who willfully deprives an arrested person of any right granted by this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 816, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2013.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016