Don’t Talk To The Police

As builders of improvised electronic devices, we’re worried that we may find ourselves running afoul of the law. Lucky for us, we’ve got the advice of Regent University Law Professor James Duane on using the 5th amendment. He runs through many examples where saying anything at all, truth or otherwise, can get you into trouble. Embedded below is the other side: Officer George Bruch discussing some of the interview techniques he uses.

[via Sean Bonner]

17 thoughts on “Don’t Talk To The Police

  1. Those are all really great points that anyone in the US should know. Remember it though:
    1: Don’t talk to anyone related to the police.
    2: Don’t write anything at the suggestion or request of anyone related to the police.
    3: Don’t talk to anyone but your lawyer unless it’s during a trial if you’ve been detained (not just arrested).

  2. It’ll always be a hassle to sit in the holding room at the airport for several hours and then have to talk to someone important (i.e. a judge or whatever), who will listen and understand and let you go, because you are speaking through your lawyer.

    it’ll always be more of a hassle to get held for several hours, talk to a judge or whatever, and be arrested and sent to guantanamo because you tried to explain your homemade steampunk coffee-bot or blinking usb dongle or wifi detector to an airport cop.

    lesson: police and juries are not the sharpest tools when it comes to diy tech. they’ll jump at any stray wire as a “device of destruction.” don’t talk to anybody, at all, except for your lawyer. chances are you’ll get off.

    and just for comedic effect, though i’m sure everyone here has already seen this:

  3. On balance, I think Regent University law students (If You Watch CBN, You May Already Qualify For A Degree!) don’t need much more information about how to weasel out of going to jail for what they’ve done. They seem to be doing pretty well already.

    The first guy even throws in a nice little wink and nod about Monica Goodling. Which, I realise, doesn’t make him any less classy than a lot of other lawyers, but do bear in mind that this place is supposed to be just about the most Bible-believing college in the world.

  4. The second video seems to have gone down so i don’t know if it addresses this problem, but-

    “You have the right to remain silent, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something that you later rely on in court”

    How does that fit with what fast-talking lawyer guy is saying?

  5. My story: I am Stephen George Weber. A few years ago, coming home from work in Atlanta on a Friday afternoon, I got off the Metro rail-line at its southern terminus, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, where I waited out front of Terminal 1 on the sidewalk, where my roommate would soon arrive to pick me up for the last leg of my commute. While idling there, I noticed a police officer (guy by the name of BALDWIN) ticketing cars illegally parked in front of the terminal.

    Back then, there were 4 traffic lanes, two immediately before the building and two more, separated from the closer two by a small, curbed ‘island’ on which was a windowed security-booth, the on-duty officer’s station. During my wait, I watched officer BALDWIN, wondering what pooch he’d screwed, to be assigned as an airport meter-maid, surely one of the least coveted assignments a police officer could draw. During my wait, I watched officer BALDWIN, busily enforcing the no-parking zone.

    I observed BALDWIN as he chose to write up other vehicles, including one that hadn’t been left as long as another that I had noticed, an empty car that had been left unattended on the far side of the booth, a car which had been there when I first came outside, perhaps as yet unnoticed by BALDWIN, since it was parked on the far side of the booth from where he stood, while BALDWIN wrote up yet another ticket for a car that had just been left.

    Taking a small measure of pity on BALDWIN for having drawn such duty, I thought to give BALDWIN a small assist by bringing to his attention the car he had been seemingly ignoring. For my good deed, BALDWIN cited and arrested me for “interfering with a police officer in the course of his duties”. Likely because I politely protested, BALDWIN compounded his incompetence by filling in the citation incorrectly, probably to interfere with my booking. In the boxes on the citation for the accused’s name (clearly labelled Last, First, Middle), BALDWIN wrote mine in, first, middle, then last, causing me to be later called from the precinct’s holding tank as George Stephen, not Stephen Weber. The delay created by this snafu caused me to suggest that my jailers were no more competent than BALDWIN, the arresting officer. As it was a Friday night, I had to remain in jail for the entire weekend; for BALDWIN, this was merely a happy coincidence, no doubt.

    At my arraignment on Monday, the judge noted that the citation’s charge against me was unsupported by any explanation, which should have detailed the reason for the charge, required to have been written in the area on the bottom half of the ticket, which BALDWIN had left blank. The judge asked if BALDWIN was present in court, to explain this over-sight, and provide just cause why I should be there. BALDWIN hadn’t bothered to attend this hearing, of course, so the charge against me was dismissed. ‘No harm, no foul’? Well, none suffered by the public or police, only me.

    Unless you are not concerned about the very real possibility of gaining an arrest-record, suffering the inconvenience, discomfort, hassle, irritation, and righteous anger at such treatment, then do feel free to perform your good deed for the day, and help out the next police officer you can.

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