John’s cardinal rules when engaged in an encounter with law enforcement:
1. If you are pulled over by a police officer, never consent to a search.
- If you are uncomfortable with saying no to a police officer, simply respond to the officer by saying that your attorney has advised you never to agree to consent for search.
- If you are given a warning and then asked to answer questions, say, “No I would like to leave at this time. Thank you for giving me a warning.”
- Stay firm and stand your ground no matter how intimidating the situation becomes.
- Most cases cannot be filed unless a person has confessed or consented to a search.
2. The police are not your friends.
- Never make a statement regarding your case, regardless if you think you are innocent or not. They are about what you can or cannot prove. Prisons are populated with innocent men and women.
- If you are truly innocent, the District Attorney will have no evidence to convict you.
- While trials should be about the truth, sadly, they are not.
- Statements are subject to the interpretation of the officer recording the details of the conversation. Unfortunately a 20 minute conversation is detailed in a 5 minute report, usually to your detriment.
To air on the side of caution, be polite, but do not answer any questions unless mandated to do so. The outcome of an encounter with law enforcement greatly depends on how you handle the situation. Your best defense in the end will be to wait for an attorney to speak on your behalf.
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