Take lawyer with you to talk w/cops

This is a discussion on Take lawyer with you to talk w/cops within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Our recent thread Professor Called Police After Student Presentation) sent me to the original article , which included a reader comments section. This is a ...

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Thread: Take lawyer with you to talk w/cops

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    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Take lawyer with you to talk w/cops

    Our recent thread Professor Called Police After Student Presentation) sent me to the original article, which included a reader comments section. This is a quote one of them made which I thought was excellent. Wish I had the original's reference to give you, but here it is as quoted:

    (…stolen shamelessly from somewhere on the web)

    I was recently contacted by the Police.
    They want me to come in to the precinct to talk to them. What should I do?

    So you got home from work today and there’s a Detective’s business card under your door. You call the number on the card. He tells you he’d like you to come in and talk to him. What should you do?

    Call your lawyer, that’s what.

    When the police want to chat, you most likely won’t be coming home from the precinct that day. You are going to be arrested.

    No, you can’t talk them out of it. The police have already made their decision.

    No, they won’t listen to your side of the story and change their minds. The other side already convinced them to arrest you.

    No, they don’t care that you would never do something like that. That you have a good job. That you’re college educated. That you support your elderly parents, your five kids and your wife.

    The police don’t care that you’re a really nice guy.

    They don’t even care that you weren’t even there.

    So what do you do when the police want to talk to you? Call your lawyer first.

    But don’t take my word for it. Call that Detective with the business card and ask him what’s going on. He’ll tell you something like this: “We need to straighten this out.” “I need to hear your side of the story.” “I need to see you in person.”

    Here’s what he won’t say: “You’re going to be arrested for a major felony.” “Pack your toothbrush.” “You won’t be going home for a while.”

    Why? Because then you wouldn’t go see him, would you? Then he would have to come looking for you, which is a lot harder.

    Call your lawyer.

    No one is suggesting you should run from the police. That only causes more problems. But you cannot walk into that police precinct by yourself. If you go in with a friend or family member, the police will make them wait in the lobby for you. A few hours later, the officer at the front desk will tell your friend or family member that they can see you in court the next morning. Or at visiting hour at the jail after that.

    So who should you call when the police are looking for you? Your lawyer.

    And who should go with you to see the police? Your lawyer.

    Why? Because your lawyer can call the Detective and find out what’s going on. The police will usually talk to us. We can find out if they are planning to arrest you or if you really are just a witness. We can find out if they really want to “hear your side of the story” or if that was just a lame ruse to get you to turn yourself in.

    Your lawyer can sit with you and the police when you’re being interviewed. Your lawyer can tell you what questions to answer and what questions not to answer (in other words, when to shut up).

    Realize this: If you’re not the victim of a crime, the police are not here to help you. And the law says that they can lie to you. As much as they want. If it gets you to confess. So, if you’re not the victim of a crime, if the police ask you to come in to chat, you can’t trust a thing they say.

    The police are very good at using what you say against you. By instinct, most people want to please the police when they talk to them, which often makes them say things they think the police want to hear. Sometimes, those things aren’t exactly true. But they become part of your statement, and your statement can–and will–be used against you. That can’t happen if you have a lawyer with you. The police can’t get a confession from you if they can’t get you to say what they want to hear.

    NO, bringing a lawyer with you to see the police does not make you look more guilty. And who cares if it does? They were planning to arrest you anyway. Bringing a lawyer with you may be the only way you are going to go home tonight.

    If you were wrong, if you really were just a witness, then consider it an insurance policy.

    And if you do get arrested, the police and prosecutors have a lot less to work with down the line when it comes to proving you guilty in court.

    So don’t call that Detective first. Call your lawyer.
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    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
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    I don't want this to turn into cop- bashing thread; too many very, very valuable members of this forum are LEO's. From what I can tell judging them online, they are fine, fine, men.

    Most of what dude says is true: unless you are a victim, the police are NOT asking you down to the station to talk football - - whether ya "dun it" or not.
    "...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."


    Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.

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    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Realize this: If you’re not the victim of a crime, the police are not here to help you. And the law says that they can lie to you. As much as they want. If it gets you to confess. So, if you’re not the victim of a crime, if the police ask you to come in to chat, you can’t trust a thing they say.

    The police are very good at using what you say against you. By instinct, most people want to please the police when they talk to them, which often makes them say things they think the police want to hear. Sometimes, those things aren’t exactly true. But they become part of your statement, and your statement can–and will–be used against you. That can’t happen if you have a lawyer with you. The police can’t get a confession from you if they can’t get you to say what they want to hear.
    ...
    So don’t call that Detective first. Call your lawyer.
    Good advice. I read the thread you mentioned, and wondered why he agreed to go to the station and talk to the police about the issue. I might have called and spoke briefly with them to find out what was going on, but I don't think I would have gone to the station alone.

    They know where I live. They could always come to my house if they want to speak to me. They can find my phone number. They can call if they want.

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    While it is true you are not invited to shoot the breeze, its not true that you are not walking back out. If my mind was already made up, there would be no invitation, I'd just come get you myself. Often times, I do ask suspects to come up and talk to do just that... talk. Give them a chance to tell their side, make something up or tell me they didnt do it and why.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I would go hunting for a lawyer...especially a student on a limited budget...just for a talk and knowing I had nothing to hide. If things got ugly...another story. But...to stop by and chat if they had a question??? I'd rather spend the dollars that it would cost for a lawyer on ammo :))

    Rick

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    In addition to not talking to the police alone, you probably don't want to talk to them at the police station either. Your lawyer probably has a nice office or conference room that you could use for this conversation. This will definitely help put you and your lawyer more in control of the conversation than if you were talking in a police interrogation room.

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    Member Array bigiceman's Avatar
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    There is nothing I have to say to them I have to say at the police station. If I have to go to the police station at their request and I don't know what the issue is and I am not the one wanting to talk to them I will not say one word other then to confirm my identity. They cannot twist what you say if you say nothing. If they want to talk there are phones and they have cars.
    But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...
    "Baa."
    LTC(RET) Dave Grossman

    Revolutionary War Veterans Association Shooter Qualification: Cook

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    Senior Member Array jeephipwr's Avatar
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    I dont think I would call the detective in the first place. I am sorry but just leaving a card at my house is not enough of a reason for me to call and find out what is going on. If it is so important that they need to talk to me, then find me, wait on me, do what ever it takes to see me face to face. Otherwise, it is not that important.

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    Clarification: I have tremendous respect for the vast majority of law-enforcement officers. I recognize, though, that the system is stacked a certain way, and good officers can become effectively hostile if they start with the wrong assumptions, and bad officers can flourish in certain roles. Example: two officers who were probably fine folks heard the statement of the other guy first, and gave no credence to my wife's side - after his reckless driving almost killed our daughter. I doubt they woke up that morning and said, "Let's mess someone over today!", but rather they had their minds made up before they ever talked to her.

    LEOs - thanks (honestly) for taking risks on our behalf, to put bad guys away. I posted what I did as a warning against the system, not against you.
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    +1 from me

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    I respect our law enforcement.

    With one caveat. Just because a person has a badge and a gun, does not make that person infallible.

    Always have a lawyer present when being questioned. LEOs are trained in interrogation. You are not.
    Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. Winston Churchill

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    It's possible there was a crime and they want to find out if you saw or heard anything,I will go talk to them but as soon as it starts sounding like I'm a suspect I'm lawyering up which means that unless they have enough evidence to hold me they gotta let me walk and if they think they have enough evidence I'm gonna need a lawyer anyway.I will answer their questions honestly but remember anything I say can be used against me not for me
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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    Card left under the door asking me to call, or a phone call asking me to come in for a "chat", probably not happening.

    I had this happen to me while I was in the military. Got called into my branch chiefs office. Was told I needed to go see Sgt So & So at Security Police. I went down,was ushered into a interview room and read my rights, was told I was under investigation for theft of government funds. When ask if I wanted a lawyer present for questioning I told them "yes". You could tell they weren't happy, but they let me leave.

    I went back the the squadron and directly to the first sergeants office and told him what had happened. He took me to the commanders office, where I again told what had happened. Commander told me I should have talked to the Security Police, that by not it "looked like I was hiding something". He then called his wife, who was a military lawyer and told her what had happened and what he had told me. I could hear her on the phone, she told him "No [Edited] way should I talk to the SP without a lawyer present". I never did hear from the SP again on the matter.

    I did eventually found out what the story was. I had gone to the NCO Club one night and written a check for $10.00. Both places on the check were written $10.00 and Ten dollars. The $10.00 had been changed to $100.00 and the tellers till had come up $90.00's short. Come to find out, this wasn't the first time this had happened with this teller. She was eventually arrested and convicted of theft of government funds.
    Last edited by Captain Crunch; March 1st, 2009 at 01:57 PM. Reason: Language.

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    tjm
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    Quote Originally Posted by randytulsa2 View Post
    unless you are a victim, the police are NOT asking you down to the station to talk football - - whether ya "dun it" or not.
    Amen to that.

    I should probably admit that I grew up being a cop hater. It took me a lot of years to get over it. At least now I can see them as individuals and like or dislike them accordingly. Not for nothing, I just thought I should come clean on that before I tell the short version of this story.

    I was once suspected of a felony that I had absolutely no involvement in or even knowledge of. And I had a rock solid alibi. The cops told me on the phone that I needed to come in to 'talk to' the chief at midnight. There were no typos in that sentence. The chief was working the graveyard shift. After many hours of arguing, I let my friends talk me into going. Two steps inside the door I told the nearest LEO my name and he grabbed me and read me my rights. I spent the next two hours in a small room with the foulest, meanest, most ignorant SOB I have ever encountered in my entire life. Finally the chief did arrive. It took me ten minutes or so to retell my story to him and he looked at his boy and said, "Sam, for God's sake, what are you thinking? Kick him loose." I'm not 20, broke, or convinced that the justice system will always find the truth these days. The next time I have to go in for a 'talk' you can bet I won't be alone. The cops have their job to do, I have mine.

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    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    I have discovered through the experiences of family that we do not have a justice system in this country, no matter what they try to tell us. We have a 'legal' system.

    I do not trust that the system is working on my behalf. I do not believe that it is automatically assumed that I, or anyone else, is innocent until proven guilty. I will not trust LE to be working for my best interests...not because they are bad people, but because they are in a system which creates certain realities that I do not care to trust will work to prove my innocence.

    With my experiences/close-at-hand experiences, I will be very careful with what I say and to whom I say it. If I am ever involved in a SD shooting, I will tell them the truth: "I was in fear for my life." "There is the BG." "Here is my weapon."

    Then, I will shut up, lawyer up and wait. MHO.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
    Albert Einstein

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