The Police and Your Rights

We’re witnessing an unique time in our country’s history. Government has ceased to be functional, specifically Congress. Wall Street has fixated itself on short-term trading and the commissions it generates. I worry about my children and what the future holds for them in this increasingly dysfunctional society.

Last night the Girls were watching Law and Order. What I overheard shocked me.

Every person that was questioned by cops willfully answered every question thrown at them. They volunteered more information than they were asked about. People were blabbing away. Innocent witnesses and suspects – none of them could shut up. The Detectives were eating it up. This show was making a mockery of our constitutional rights. I had to interject and remind our girls of our constitutional rights.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Savannah figured if “you had nothing to worry about or hide, why wouldn’t you talk to the cops? If you’re taking the 5th, then you’re hiding something, right?” she said. No, it doesn’t work that way. I explained to her that cops are not required by law to be truthful to you. That your comments can easily be mis-construed and you could be charged with a crime, even if you are an innocent bystander. You cannot introduce statements that you give police into a court of law, even if those statements are truthful and exonerate you. The Judge will rule it hearsay and thus inadmissible.

Never, never talk to a peace officer without your Attorney present. No exceptions. You have nothing to gain and everything to lose.