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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Police Interrogation - Protect Yourself and Your Rights

It is critical to realize this point - when the police arrest someone they suspect has committed a crime, they frequently interrogate the suspect to secure a confession.


Whether you have ACTUALLY committed a crime or not is immaterial to them.

Whether or not the suspect is actually guilty, the police interrogators may attempt to manipulate them psychologically into giving a confession.


Because most cops are trained to get a confession - the days of the old "gumshoe" going out an impartially investigating a crime are largely fiction from old Hollywood movies. Don't count on it. As with nearly all things in this life - you MUST look out for yourself and don't live under the false belief that some stranger will protect your rights or your interests.

By knowing your legal rights and what to expect from an interrogation, you can help avoid confessing to a crime you did not commit.

Police interrogation techniques are designed to manipulate the emotions and psychological reactions of suspects.

The good cop / bad cop routine is an example: one officer aggressively accuses you while the other pretends to be your friend. By exposing you to emotional extremes, they try to break down your mental defenses until you give away information they can use against you.

Their techniques are also designed to prevent suspects from requesting the help of a lawyer.

remember - Anyone accused of a crime has the right to remain silent and the right to a lawyer.

You have the constitutional right not to give away information the police can use against you, which in the context of an interrogation can mean nearly anything at all. You can also request at any point after confronting the police to seek a lawyer’s help, which immediately prevents or ends an interrogation.

If you are ever detained by the police or any representative of the government - keep asking them - AM I BEING CHARGED WITH A CRIME . They must eventually answer your question.

If the answer is YES - then your response should be this and this ONLY.....

I want to speak to my attorney.

If the answer is NO - then  your response should be this....

If I am not being charged with a crime - then I demand to be released.

That is it - no other response is necessary...BUT if you are stubborn here's a bit more background if you need more convincing.

This information is brought to us by a criminal defense lawyer. Randy England of Missouri....

When the police arrest someone and want to question them they first must read the suspect his rights as set forth in the US Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona (1966). Most cops will carry a card from which the rights are read:
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights?
  • Number 1 is good to know, especially when read by a police officer, who–at this particular moment–is not your friend
  • Number 2 is so blunt and honest it makes me want to cry. Read it again. Notice how “anything you say” can be used against you. So if you tell the truth, they can use that against you. And if you tell a lie–and they later find out–they will use that against you. Consider the meaning of remaining silent. It’s for the best. Just say: “I want to talk to a lawyer first.”
  • Number 3 gets a little tricky. It seems to say that if you ask for a lawyer, they get one in for you. News flash: THEY WON’T. But they have to stop asking questions (which is the main point here).
  • Number 4, like number 3, should not be misunderstood to mean that you will see a lawyer anytime soon. If it’s a Friday night, it would be a miracle if you saw the public defender before next week. 
  • Number 5 just says you can confess to all, part or none of the crime. You can stop confessing whenever you want.
Another thing to keep in mind about these rights is that they are the rights of the accused, not his lawyer. If your spouse has hired a lawyer and sent the lawyer straight to the jail, he will not be rushing in to stop the questioning. You will not see him or even know he is in the building until the police are finished with their questions.

That is the bottom line: no suspect is going to talk to a lawyer until the police have finished their questioning (one exception being a DWI-related case where suspect is permitted to call a lawyer, IF THEY ASK TO).

If the police are smart–and many are–they will not let a suspect talk to ANY OUTSIDER until they get everything they can from the suspect. That will happen more quickly if the suspect stops all questioning by asking to talk to a lawyer.

Once the arrest and booking is over and the person is (hopefully) bailed out of jail, the accused will need a lawyer, but the case that is eventually presented to that lawyer to defend may be very different, depending on how well the defendant listened to the Miranda warnings and vehemently asserted their rights. If you are firm and respectful but assertive - they will quickly realize they are getting nothing out of you - and quickly release you.

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