I’ve noticed this advice handed out online, it seems to me to be very bad advice unless you do have a lawyer on retainer and enjoy pointless confrontation with the legal system. I mean false arrest lawsuits seem nice but sometimes you don’t feel like the bother.
I mean sure the second a cop is accusing me of a crime or I’m under arrest its silent mode time.
But literally the second a cop says hello you should answer I will not speak to police except through my lawyer? This seems like a situation thats going to turn really bad in the real world, and the state I am most familiar with Texas has several loopholes cops can abuse to arrest anyone(all traffic violations are arrestable for instance as well as all C misdemeanors) and unless you’re rich enough to have a lawyer on retainer this is a headache most people would prefer to avoid.
You do need to use common sense … if you are in a common traffic stop, or walking along and get asked for ID and why you are in an area [I used to commute home through a fairly rough area of Norfolk VA when I worked odd shifts, and more than once got stopped because I am so white I pretty much glow in the dark and I needed to drive through a pretty much entirely black ghetto area. They were concerned I got lost apparently.] There are actually a fair number of reasons for a cop to stop you that isn’t going to lead to arrest unless you really are up to something shady.
The never talk to cops is if you are actually being charged with something, or suspected of doing something that might lead to arrest. Those idiots who refuse to hand over a picture ID are being idiots, and they are being confrontational. If you are legit, you should have no problem IDing oneself.
I believe the same thing applies in my state. You have an obligation to identify yourself to a police officer. Whether you speak or simply hand him your ID is probably immaterial. Refusing to speak to an officer with respect to a particular situation, IE, the infamous “do you know why I stopped you tonight” question, is probably a wise move.
Never speak to a police officer would be difficult for me, I know some, they resemble humans in most ways. Not talking to them when they are asking regular questions will piss them off. If you are Mirandized [we call it something different over here, you are supposed to know your rights over here] and you are suspected of a crime, it can help or hinder what you say, especially if you say something ambivalent that can be skewed into a confession of some sort.
But if a traffic cop stops you and asks you if you know how fast you were going, you can easily say that you were paying too much attention to traffic to look at your speedometer.
You don’t literally clam up, you provide ID and alternate between “how can I help” and “I do not want to make any statements that may incriminate myself however accidentally” and of course “Am I free to go / under arrest”. That’s all you need. Oh, and “I do not consent to any warrantless searches.”
In Harrisburg Pa cops do what they want when they want my husband has a case against them currently for an illegal search amd seizure not marandizing beating him up in a cell and they let him leave but he had to walk five miles in the rain to get home. Lord knows what they would do to a female theyre disgusting peices of trash.
If you can’t do the time, don’t even try doing the present pluperfect subjunctive.
That’s what we say at meetings nowadays, after a few hard ciders … oh, and we haven’t used the “Nazi” designation since the late 40s (negative connotations). Most of us lately say “Grammar Brownshirts”.
I was once stopped in a heavily black ghetto area (I’m white). I was in the process of getting out of there (the sun had already gone down). The cop pretty much wanted to know what I was up to, and I was honest about why I was there. He let me go and told me the best way to get out. Simple situation - it could have been nasty had I demanded to speak to a lawyer.
No arrest, have a nice evening, that sort of thing.
I may be biased, I have officers in my family, my best friend from highschool is a detective and I served 10 months on a Federal grand jury, none of which makes me a lawyer or qualified to give legal advice.
That said here is my recommendation.
Be polite, Answer questions that allow them to ID you, be polite, don’t answer questions without council.
Refuse searches, and be polite.
The ACLU has a video called “Busted” that is fairly good.
Well, as long as you are a witness and they have not detained you or read you your rights, you should be helpful. Of course even there blurting out “ I Killed the motherfucker!” can get you in trouble. IDing yourself is required and reasonable.
But if it turns into anything like questioning you as a suspect, then “I want to speak to my lawyer/ Am I free to go” are the only thing s you should say.