One Hollywood concept about the criminal justice system that is common in shows and movies about someone under arrest is the right to a phone call. In these stories, you always hear the person under arrest proclaiming his or her right to one phone call.
You may wonder, though, how true this is. Hollywood is known for not getting things 100% correct. However, the Alabama Judicial System explains in this case, the movies got it correct because you do have a right to a phone call.
Alabama law says that once you are under arrest, officers must allow you to make a phone call to anyone you wish as soon as possible. It is important to note the law states officers cannot delay allowing you to make a call without a good reason for doing so, but this does not mean you can demand your phone call the minute the handcuffs go on. Officers can wait until you are back at the jail and booked in before allowing you to have your phone call.
Before it was a law, it was just common for officers to allow you to make a phone call once you were at the jail. It was a practice to help you let someone know where you were. That is the main point of making it a law because everyone has the right to alert people who care about them as to their whereabouts. However, you can call anyone you want without limitations, so whether you call your mom or the local radio station to request a song, it is up to you.