On using the golden rule and silence with police
It is not always easy to be calm towards abusive police, but it is best for a suspect to complain later with the help of a qualified lawyer, rather than to address the matter more than necessary with the abusive police officer. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I present the following thoughts on using the golden rule and silence with police:
When a suspect talks to cops, the content and context of the suspect’s words can harm the suspect. For instance, cops can use “agitated” against the suspect not only in testimony, but possibly by throwing in more charges.
– With cops, the golden rule is key (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) so long as you assert your right to remain silent while with the police.
– If a suspect is inclined to talk to cops, the suspect best first consult with a qualified lawyer and have the lawyer present during any communicates with the police.
– Police may use allegations of a suspect’s agitation and aggressiveness to justify manhandling and overcharging the suspect. Consider the police manhandling of fourteen-year-old Tremaine McMillian, after he allegedly clenched his fists and threw dehumanizing stares. Fortunately for Mr. McMillian, the authorities eventually dropped the resulting prosecution against him for felony resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
It is sad that criminal suspects need to be so guarded and silent with police. The alternative, however, should not be risked. Police already make efforts to find adverse evidence against suspects that do not even rely on anything the suspect does or does not say. To talk with police simply provides them with more data to misconstrue and use against you as a criminal suspect.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan Katz pursues your best defense against Virginia DUI, felony and misdemeanor prosecutions. Call 703-383-1100 for your free in-person confidential consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending case.