December 9, 2014

What you must know before you talk to the police

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DetailsCategory: DUI Blog
don't talk to the policeBy Jessica Towne

So, you've been arrested, say for something simple, like DUI. You've been read the Miranda warning and you feel that you know what is going on. I'd suggest you call your lawyer before you talk. Because you probably don't know the police don't have to follow the same rules that everyone else does. For instance:

5 scary things about police interviews

1. The police interrogators are allowed to lie to you.
They can make stuff up, like "we have you on camera" or "an eyewitness described you to us" or "your buddy is next door telling us that you planned this together" even if there is no video, no eyewitness and your buddy has exercised his right to remain silent (or is off at grandma's house in Florida). No judge is going to rule that your confession is inadmissible because the police lied. The jurors don't care that the police lied, and even though the judge will instruct the jury that what the police say in the recording is not evidence, the jury may consider the police statements. We just don't know.

2. The police cannot make any promises. The police have no influence with the prosecutor. If the only reason you answer questions is that the police say you can have a cigarette, or a Coke, or go to the bathroom, those are not promises that will make any statement inadmissible in court. The police officer doesn't "know the judge" or have any influence over a possible sentence or how the prosecutor will draw up charges. If the officer does make a promise, your statement may be inadmissible, but the police know where the line is drawn, and they dance right up to it.

3. Police interrogations do not have to be video or audio recorded. Law enforcement guidelines and standard operating procedures are not law. There is no requirement anywhere that your interrogation be recorded. Yeah, that's a two-way mirror, and yes, that hole in the wall has a camera, but don't assume that the recording equipment works.

4. The police interrogator is checking with his supervisor before ending your questioning. He or she is not just merely stretching his legs, or going out for a smoke. Someone is making sure you've told them everything they didn't already know so that a conviction is all but certain.

5. It's never to late to stop talking. You can stop answering questions any time you want to. Let's say it's late, you're sleepy, you forgot that you're not required to answer anything at all. Suddenly, you remember that you should remain silent. Even if you've been answering questions for the past half-hour or more, you can say "I'm not going to say anything else. I want an attorney."

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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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