Remember that crap you learned in first grade, “The policeman is your friend”? Well, it's time to unlearn it. The policeman is not your friend. The policeman is a soldier in the “War Against Drugs,” which is really a war against citizens. And to the policeman in that war, you are “the enemy.”
Do not try to talk your way out of an arrest. If your “friendly” police officer has grounds to arrest you, that officer is asking you questions only to use what you say against you in court. And if the officer is in your face with a manner that is overbearing, your situation is the same. Whatever you say can only hurt you. Trying to make nice with the officer will not improve your situation. Even the most innocent-sounding information that you provide may later be turned against you. In fact, it often is.
Tell the police officer or detective that you want to talk to your lawyer. Repeat this request to every officer who speaks to you.
Identify yourself, if asked. If the incident relates to a motor vehicle, produce your license, registration, and insurance card, if asked.
Beyond identifying yourself, give no other information. Answer no other questions. Admit nothing. Deny nothing. Sign nothing. If you are asked any other questions, reply politely, "I would rather not discuss it."
Call your lawyer at your first opportunity. Note: if you are arrested for drunk driving in New Jersey, you must give breath samples before you have the right to call your lawyer. Breath tests are the only tests required. If you are asked to perform field sobriety tests, you should politely refuse.
Remember: Even a fish would not get caught if he kept his mouth shut. Or, as once appeared in a Chinese fortune cookie, “The greatest enemy of the throat is...the tongue.”
Allan Marain |
Norman Epting, Jr.
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