Demand To See Your Lawyer. Then Shut Up. Really.

by Jamison Koehler on July 30, 2010

With thanks to Randy England of Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer, below is an amusing and informative YouTube video spelling out the reasons that you should never, ever speak to the police when under investigation for a criminal offense.

The first half of the lecture is done by a Professor Dwayne (sp?).  The professor is funny and informative and provides a good overview of the Fifth Amendment.

What I like best , however, is the second half of the video beginning at around 27 minutes in.  Officer Bruch, a police officer with 28 years of experience, lays out the numerous tricks he uses to get suspects to incriminate themselves.  For example, he tells how officers often get a suspect to write an apology letter to the victim of the offense with the hope that the suspect may be released after currying favor with the police by doing so.  The result is a signed confession in the suspect’s own handwriting that can then be used against that person at trial.

Officer Bruch also describes a little trick he plays in which he makes a big deal about recording the interview/interrogation after the Miranda rights have been read.  A little way in, the Officer asks the suspect if they can go off the record and then turns off his hand-held tape recorder.  The two of them – the police officer and the suspect – put their heads together and lower their voices after the suspect is sure the recorder is really off.  The suspect then makes an incriminating statement that is forever preserved by hidden microphones in the interview room.

Always remember:  The police are professionals.  They know what they are doing. They have tried and perfected every trick. You are not a professional criminal. You are an amateur. In any exchange with the police, you are going to lose. The best thing to do is to demand to see your lawyer. And then shut up. You are NOT going to talk your way out of it. No matter how smart you think you are. No matter how innocent you may be.

One Comment on “Demand To See Your Lawyer. Then Shut Up. Really.

  1. I wish I saw this as well as
    others before I got stopped @
    a DUI/DWI trap. Much of
    what I just read & heard I really
    needed to know, (like I should have
    called an attorney before answering
    any questions). I have a Corporate Attorney
    that I use many times a year. Should I have
    called him (at 1:00AM) to come to the
    Police stop or since he is a Real Estate
    attorney have him call an appropriate
    one to come and help? Also an officer was asking
    me questions, with a lot of things going
    on in the room. Later he asked me to sign
    a paper. I started reading it and
    before I finished the first one he
    said, “It was just the questions we
    just went thought”. I can’t remember
    if he added just sign it, so I did.
    That was only 4 days ago. I meet with
    him tomarrow at 2!

    4 days ago. I’m meeting
    Mahalo
    Matt
    P.S.: Am I doomed?

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