Articles Posted in Federal Criminal Defense

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

DO I HAVE TO TELL THEM WHAT I KNOW?

No.

The only time you have to speak is if you are ordered to do so by a judge, in court, with your attorney present.

Once you begin to tell the police what you know you expose yourself to criminal charges of obstruction of justice, impeding a police investigation, filing a false police report, perjury, and a host of other criminal charges.

By remaining silent you are not exposing yourself to criminal liability for misstating or mistaking what you know from what you think you know.

You need to speak with a lawyer. You can cooperate in an investigation later if you want.

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

CAN THE POLICE LIE TO ME?

Yes.

The Supreme Court has said it is okay for the police to lie to you in the course of an investigation.  That’s a big WOW isn’t it?

Does that mean the police can lie to me when they tell me that they have a confession from someone else and I’ve been implicated? Yes.

Does that mean the police can lie if they tell me they have a picture of me in a compromising criminal act?  Yes.

Does that mean the police can lie if they tell me they have my fingerprints? Yes.

Gee, my Mom never lied to me like that.

The police are not your mother.

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

WHAT IF I RUN?

Running away can be considered as an indication of guilt.

If an officer issues a command for you to stop you must do so. You do not have to cooperate or assist the officer in obtaining information which can lawfully empower him to arrest you.

If an officer commands you to stop you can consider yourself detained. All of your constitutional rights attach to the circumstances and subsequent actions of the officer. That means anything that happens after the issuance of the “stop” command by the officer is subject to review by a judge.

So if the officer says stop: stop. At that point exercise your right to remain silent and your right to counsel.

You gain control of the situation when you follow the law. Running is always an unwise response.

Remember the law can protect you if you know the law.

 

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

SHOULD I OPEN THE DOOR IF THE POLICE KNOCK?

Only if they have a warrant.

If they don’t have a warrant and force their way in, then let a judge sort it out.

If they are in, just remain silent and comply with any command (sit still) .

Do not give them permission to search, even if the situation looks hopeless.

Remember that a lawful search is only admissible if:

  1. you give them permission,
  2. the police have a warrant,
  3. “exigent circumstances” exist.

To preserve the issue for a judge NEVER agree to a search.

 

 

 

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM BEING QUESTIONED BY THE POLICE?

 Do not answer questions, do not volunteer.

Tell the police that you will not answer any questions without an attorney present.

It is the most natural thing in the world to try to defend yourself when you’re being accused of a crime.  And that’s okay, and that’s how it should be.

The thing to remember is time and place.

The time of your arrest, it is not the place to defend yourself.  You cannot talk the police out of arresting you.

The correct time and place is in a courtroom.

 

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

CAN THE POLICE STOP ME ON THE STREET?

Yes.

They can stop you.

But you don’t have to talk to them.

If you were “stopped” in the street by an insurance salesman you would walk away.  The only thing a cop is selling is jail.  Don’t buy it.

Think this way…

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to prove.

If you have something to hide, you do not have to volunteer information that can be used to convict you.

 

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

CAN I TRY TO MAKE A DEAL WITH THE POLICE?

No.

No police officer can make a deal.  They do not have the legal power to make you a deal or cut you a break.

ONLY a prosecutor can negotiate and make an enforceable promise of leniency in return for assistance.

Don’t even think about negotiating deals with cops.

If a prosecutor is standing next to the cop, ignore the cop, talk to the prosecutor.

 

 

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

DO I HAVE TO TALK TO THE POLICE?

No.

You do not have to say anything to an officer to assist him in making a case against you.

The police can stop you in the street and talk to you.  You do not have to, and should not, answer.

The only person who can force you to answer questions is a judge, and then only in limited circumstances.  Those circumstances only occur in a courtroom.  The street is not a courtroom.  A cop is not a judge.

 

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

WHY IS THE COP TALKING TO ME?

9 times out of 10 he’s talking to you because he needs something more from you to make a valid arrest.

The police cruiser may have “TO SERVE AND PROTECT” printed on the door, but that’s not the truth.  The police are there “TO INVESTIGATE AND ARREST”. 

They are not there to protect your rights.  That’s what a lawyer is for.

If a police officer is talking to you assume he is conducting an investigation.  DO NOT cooperate in a police investigation if you are the person of interest.

You cannot know what is in the mind of the police officer.  You can only assume he is conducting an investigation with the objective of making an arrest.   It is naïve to assume anything else.

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

WHAT IS A STOP & FRISK?

A cop can detain and (“stop”) and pat down (“frisk”) if he has:

1. A “reasonable” suspicion of criminal behavior and/or

2. “reasonable” concern for officer safety. This applies on the street    and at a traffic stop.

The officer needs to have more than a “hunch”, or a judge will throw out the search.

The officer needs to have something he can put into words which is both reasonable and rational….like “furtive movements” and reaching into bulky over-sized clothing, or a bulge that has the outline of a gun or knife.

He can’t go rooting around in your pockets without 1 and 2.

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