Make “No” with the police your New Year’s resolution
Fairfax County/Northern Virginia criminal defense/DWI attorney on the power of asserting your rights with the police. Pursuing the best defense since 1991
With one exception, new year’s resolutions ring hollow with me. If a person has a goal, then proceed with the goal. Why wait until the new year to form, execute, and inject hot air into a goal? Why torment others to state their new year’s resolutions?
My one exception to being non-plussed about new year’s resolutions comes with dealing with police. I feel a need to find gimmicks to convince people about the beauty and necessity of saying “no” when a police suspect, because not only do I have too many clients who do the opposite, but I have too many return clients who did not bother reading and applying my rights sheet that I hand all my potential clients on our first meeting. My website has screamed the power of “no” with the police for over sixteen years, but still the tongues of too many criminal suspects wag.
Here it goes, then:
– You have a right to remain silent with the police. Exercise that right to say “no” or regret it.
– You have the right to refuse police requests to search you, your property and your home. Exercise that right to say “no” or regret it.
– Police will try to divide and conquer you against your friends and family members you are with. Your present friends and family members may even put pressure on you to “cooperate” with the police. Who do you value more, yourself or cops; friends and family members who will sell you down the river with police, or your individual liberty? Say “no”.
– If you think you have “nothing to hide,” still say no, because police can misconstrue and twist your words, and because someone may have mistakenly left marijuana or other contraband in your car or home, that package a “friend” asked you to deliver may contain contraband or incriminating words, and someone may have accessed child pornography from your Internet-accessible device without your knowledge.
– If you are worried about being arrested or needing to pay a lawyer if you do not talk or agree to a search, what makes you think you can talk your way out of a possible jam? If you get arrested, you will have the right to go before a judicial officer with a lawyer to advocate for favorable pretrial release conditions, and you always have the right to demand the presence of a lawyer to speak up for you.
– If you are worried that asserting your rights will be used against you, fortunately we have appellate court opinions protecting here, although they are not airtight, particularly when police prevaricate that a defendant simply remained silent rather than that the defendant clearly asserted his or her right to remain silent and against searches.
– Beware the cops who demand that you answer their questions and do so “honestly”. They are violating your Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent and may very well deny that they did so.
– Here is my training video for you to say “no”, consistently, clearly, and without hesitation.
For this new year and every subsequent new year, the resolution must be “no” when a police suspect.