11 Reasons Not To Talk To The Police - Mark Sullivan, Palm Springs Defense Attorney

11 Reasons Not To Talk To The Police - Mark Sullivan, Palm Springs Defense Attorney

This is a discussion on 11 Reasons Not To Talk To The Police - Mark Sullivan, Palm Springs Defense Attorney within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This has to do with people being stopped by police, just to end up talking themselves into a corner and giving up their rights, or ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array swatspyder's Avatar
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    11 Reasons Not To Talk To The Police - Mark Sullivan, Palm Springs Defense Attorney

    This has to do with people being stopped by police, just to end up talking themselves into a corner and giving up their rights, or admitting to doing something when they weren't.


    11 Reasons Not To Talk To The Police

    This article might just as well be entitled “You have the right to remain silent. Use it. Say Nothing.”
    This doesn’t mean “Deny having committed the crime.” It means telling the police officer that your attorney has advised you not to answer any questions, and then saying nothing else to anybody until you talk to him or her.
    Recently, I was giving this advice to a potential witness, and he said, “I’ll just tell them that I don’t know anything.” This is wrong. For one thing, he did know something, so this would have been a lie. I may have wanted that witness to testify at the trial. A competent prosecutor would have discredited the witness by showing that at one point, he’d told the police he didn’t know anything, and at trial he was trying to convince the jury that he did know something.


    What If The Police Don’t Read You Your Rights?

    You always have the right to remain silent. Do not be confused by the fact that sometimes, the police don’t read you your rights. Sometimes they are required to, and sometimes they’re not. But any time you are questioned by the police – whether you are under arrest, or only being detained, or you are just a witness – you always have the right to remain silent, even if the police don’t tell you so. Until or unless a judge from a court of competent jurisdiction orders you to answer questions, you have the right to remain silent. Use it. Just politely tell the police that your lawyer told you not to answer any questions. And understand that even if you’re not asked a question, the prosecution can and will use anything you say, even to a friend or family member. A client of mine asserted his right not to answer a police detective’s questions, but spontaneously asked whether he could get the death penalty. The court allowed his question to be used as evidence against him. Say nothing.
    Read the rest of this Attorney's reasons for not talking to the police here: 11 Reasons Not To Talk To The Police Crime, Justice and America


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array 1911PKR's Avatar
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    Yep.... Not a knock against LEO, just good common sense!

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    Good advice, and surely easy to forget at the wrong time.

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    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    You know, I hear what they are saying, there... but have personally been in a situation where I avoided spending some uncomfortable and expensive time in the pokey by telling the officer what he wanted to know.

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    Member Array MN2Go's Avatar
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    Such is the real world -- it's us vs them. If you have nothing to hide ...
    Last edited by MN2Go; May 17th, 2010 at 04:26 PM.

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    Senior Member Array HowardCohodas's Avatar
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    And my favorite on this subject by a lawyer and a police officer. When time permits, I play these for my CCW students.

    YouTube - Dont Talk to Police

    YouTube - Don't Talk to Cops, Part 2
    Howard
    I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop!!
    Politically Incorrect Self Defense

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    Thanks for the post...worth bookmarking...
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HowardCohodas View Post
    And my favorite on this subject by a lawyer and a police officer. When time permits, I play these for my CCW students.
    You beat me to it Professor James Duane great video...
    Tom
    Osculare pultem meam! - Kiss my grits!

  9. #9
    Member Array torgo1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    You know, I hear what they are saying, there... but have personally been in a situation where I avoided spending some uncomfortable and expensive time in the pokey by telling the officer what he wanted to know.
    You got lucky. The point isn't that talking to the police guarantees trouble. The point is that you risk little by not talking and risk everything by doing so. I'd like to know how talking to the police without counsel helped you.

  10. #10
    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torgo1968 View Post
    You got lucky. The point isn't that talking to the police guarantees trouble. The point is that you risk little by not talking and risk everything by doing so. I'd like to know how talking to the police without counsel helped you.
    It was simple, really. I was walking down the street of a place where I was overnighting, guilty of hunger (I was returning from a restaurant) and looking very similar to a dude who'd just robbed a gas station and shot (not fatally) the attendant. Got the whole "freeze, get down, put your hands behind your head, cuffed and stuffed into the back of a cop car" routine.

    While they were running my ID, still sitting there, one of the officers proceeded to question me. I simply told them who I was, why I happened to be walking along that street at that time. They had me walk through my actions several times. They ended up taking me back to the restaurant I ate at, and talked to the cute waitress that I'd flirted with; did the timing stuff and then released me to my hotel room.

    It was evident to me, fairly early, that the officers involved had realized their mistake, and were just doing due diligence to ensure they didn't release the real guy/CYA. I reacted to that "vibe" more than anything, really.

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array Deanimator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    You know, I hear what they are saying, there... but have personally been in a situation where I avoided spending some uncomfortable and expensive time in the pokey by telling the officer what he wanted to know.
    And other people have ended up spending time in jail or prison by doing exactly that.

    Police are allowed to lie to you. Other than an obvious traffic violation, you have no real idea why you're being stopped or why you're being asked the questions you're being asked. Why CREATE RAS or PC where there otherwise was none?

    I've been in a car which was stopped for "weaving" when under no circumstance was the driver weaving. It was a LIE.

    I would rather spend three hours by the side of the road and sue later than to falsely incriminate myself by trying to be "helpful". Richard Jewell tried to be helpful.

    Refusing to speak without benefit of counsel isn't RAS or PC of anything, anywhere in the United States.

    I wouldn't perform eye surgery on myself, nor would I act as my own counsel if I had ANY alternative.

  12. #12
    Ex Member Array Treo's Avatar
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    In 1991 at Fort Lewis (in the original shall issue state) Washington, I was arrested because someone called my barracks and told the C.Q. that there was a bomb somewhere in the building, the battalion dispatch clerk (who didn’t like me) told CID that I did it. Up to this point this is the story of a fairly minor inconvenience. The cop that arrested me refused to tell me what I was being charged (remember that fact because its going to figure back into the story) W/. He also felt that it would be a good idea to make a public spectacle of me by dragging me through the barracks twice in handcuffs.

    When I was taken to CID headquarters I was left alone in a room for about an hour still in cuffs. (This is probably when I developed my pathologic fear of being mechanically restrained in any way), then taken to an interrogation room where I was handcuffed to a chair. And then the fun really began. The investigating officer told me that he knew that I was innocent (remember this is the same guy who has now left me hand cuffed for going on three hours) and that I had an excellent service record. (I didn’t know it at the time but my military career ended that night) He then asked me to do him just a little favor, if I would confess to the crime (they still hadn’t told me exactly what I was being charged with.) it would really help him out. In return for my assistance he would release me to my battalion commander with a recommendation that I receive no punishment.

    When I refused to confess to a crime that I hadn’t committed, the real interrogation started, I wasn’t physically mistreated. Unless you count the fact that I was handcuffed for a total of 4 hours (and this by a cop who had already told me he knew I was innocent)

    When golden boy was done with the mind games he (while I was still cuffed to his chair, probably for my own safety) typed up a transcript of our interview. Oddly enough the part where he professed my innocence disappeared, and a section in which I made a full confession was magically added. When the confes- I mean transcript was handed to me I refused to sign it and finally had enough sense to tell the cop that I wasn’t saying another word until I spoke to a lawyer.

    The near term end of the story is that a month or so later after taking two lie detector tests all charges (which I still hadn’t been informed of) were dropped.

    Now I’ve drawn attention to the fact that they never told me what the (according to the cop) relatively minor charges they filed against me were, honestly once they were dropped I didn’t care… until I tried to get a security clearance in 2002 and found out that they had been attempting to get me to confess to communication of a terrorist threat against the United States during a time of war. The “relatively minor charge” was still on my record 11 years after all charges were dropped.

    I will never , under any circumstance, consent to questioning W/ out a lawyer present ever again

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array HowardCohodas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treo View Post
    In 1991 at Fort Lewis (in the original shall issue state) Washington,
    Were you not within the military justice system at that time? Aren't the rules different than non-military?
    Howard
    I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop!!
    Politically Incorrect Self Defense

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    Ex Member Array Deanimator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HowardCohodas View Post
    Were you not within the military justice system at that time? Aren't the rules different than non-military?
    The underlying principles are the same, and the potential negative consequences the same.

    That cop, military or civilian is permitted to lie to you. You don't REALLY know why you're there or whether ANYTHING they say to you while not under oath is true.

    The ONLY conceivable "benefit" to talking to a strange cop without benefit of counsel is that he'll "like" you. I'd rather he hate me and my legal rights not be prejudiced.

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    Member Array torgo1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    They ended up taking me back to the restaurant I ate at, and talked to the cute waitress that I'd flirted with; did the timing stuff and then released me to my hotel room.
    I'm sure others can come up with different ways your encounter could have gone wrong, but this was the part that stood out to me. I'm assuming you told the police that there was a girl at the restaurant that would recognize you.

    What if, for any number of reasons, she had said, "Nope, I have no idea who he is." Now the police think you lied to them and have probably taken several more steps down the, "We got our guy," path.

    Asking for your attorney would have been more inconvenient to be sure, but it was only through luck that your talking to them didn't result in something much worse than an inconvenience.

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