The Defense Group

THE DEFENSE GROUP

CENTRAL FLORIDA'S
CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

FREE CRIMINAL DEFENSE CONSULTING

 

(407) 831-1956
(352) 742-9090


CENTRAL FLORIDA'S


CRIMINAL DEFENSE FIRM


Call TODAY For a Free Criminal Defense Consultation!

(407) 831-1956 or (352) 742-9090

Walk-in appointments also available

 

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FIRST THINGS FIRST
HOW TO EXERCISE YOUR RIGHTS

We have been misled by TV, the movies and urban legend. We have heard the police advise people of “their rights” a thousand times. We have come to believe that it is the police that give us these rights, and that we cannot exercise them until we have been warned (“advised”) by the police.
Wrong!!! You woke up this morning with all of these rights and protections in place. Before the police make it to the door of your vehicle; before they knock on your door at home or at work; before they signal to you that they want to talk with you; before any contact at all — YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT.
You want a simple rule to go by in dealing with the police. Try this — Just shut up!

A more complete Rule sounds like this:

[At this point the officer is supposed to stop asking questions. Don’t count on it! Do not let the officer threaten you (“If you don’t cooperate you are going to jail”), soft talk you (“Oh come on, that’s not necessary — I’m just trying to figure out what is going on. If you have nothing to hide you want to help, don’t you?)

[The obvious exception is that if you have been the victim of a crime and need to report it, do so. If the officer asks who your attorney is, you can hand him (or her) one of the cards you can get from us. It tells him that you are not talking on our advice and gives him a number if he/she wants to call, 24/7/365.]

[This does not mean that you should physically resist. Just do not give them your permission. The police may decide that they have the right to search or pat you down without your consent. Don’t resist. If you give them permission, it does not matter if they had the right or not. If you tell them “No!”, and they search anyhow, they must be right, or an experienced attorney may have all the evidence they find thrown out.]

[You can politely tell the officer(s) that only friends and family are invited into your home. Since you are not going to answer any questions anyhow, there is no reason for them to come in. If you have not already done so, tell them that you never talk to police without an attorney,]

Even the most innocent sounding question can present a problem. For example, the officer may ask of the address on your license is still correct. If it is not and you have failed to notify DMV within the time limit, you have another offense and another fine. Just stick with “I refuse to talk with you without my lawyer.”

You can call our office to get some of our business cards that have much of this information printed on the back. Our name and contact information is on the front.
We also have a card that you can simply hand to the officer and say nothing.
That card reads:

                                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Officer:

For any questions, call The Defense Group

407-831-1956  or   352-742-9090

 

Discussion: 
Police officers receive intensive training on how to ask questions that will increase the chances of you going to jail There is no reason to help them. You have probably been told as you grew up that the police are the “Good Guys” and that you should always cooperate with them. Your parents meant well. Perhaps when they were children this advice may have been OK. Not today.
A police officer will seldom ask a question unless it is his fond hope that your answer will enable him to make an arrest. You are the most likely target of that intended arrest.
          Today, In almost all routine traffic stops, the officer instead of focusing on your speeding or stop sign violation, will begin the contact by asking “For officer safety reasons, I need to know if you have any weapons or drugs in your vehicle.”  The usual response is to deny that any weapons or drugs are in your vehicle. To this the office responds, “Great. Then you won’t mind if I search, right?”
You were stopped because your taillight or tag light burned out or because you were going 65 in a 55-speed zone. What does that have to do with weapons or drugs? Nothing!  If the police officer were a fisherman, this would be the equivalent of a “cast.” He is just throwing the bait out there in hopes of catching something.
Of course, you mind if he ties you up while he searches your vehicle. You had plans before he pulled you over. If you say “No,” then the officer assumes you are hiding something (there must be a fish in this hope — I felt a nibble). So, he summons a drug dog to come to the scene where he is taking his sweet time writing the ticket of the tag light. He is checking to see if you are wanted in California. He is checking to see of the car is stolen. And, the drug dog arrives.
The backup K-9 officer walks his dog around your car and announces that the dog “alerted.” It is never clear how this happens (there is no email or verbal confirmation by the dog. There is no secret handshake. But the K-9 office assures the first officer that there was an alert, so they take you out of your car and “toss it.” If they find no drugs, they tell you that there must have been drugs in the car earlier and you are lucky. They turn you loose to go (sometimes without even writing the ticket - because the stop was never really about the tag light in the first place. It was a “cast” to catch a criminal.) If they find contraband, they arrest you and tell you that the dog was right.
Now all of this started with the officer interrupting the purpose of his stop (the tag light) to inquire of you about whether there were weapons or drugs in your car. Your denial of that started the process in motion.
          Look at Rule 1 (and Rule 2) above. When asked about the contents of your vehicle, advise the officer that you never talk to cops without your lawyer.
If the officer asks why you don't want talk if you have nothing to hide, simply repeat that you have been advised to never talk to the police and you are not making an exception for him. This would be a good time to tell the officer to either write you a citation, arrest you, or allow you to go on about your business.
We have been socialized not to permit a long silence when we are with others. Resist the urge to fill the silence with your voice. There is nothing you are about to say that will help you in the long run. Much of what you think is a good idea to say will make your attorney’s task more difficult.

CONCLUSION:

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