Most people are taught to respect the police and cooperate with them. They assume that the police are there to help and protect them and that if they do as the police tell them things will be better for them. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the police are calling you or show up at your door they are there to get evidence to arrest you, get a confession, or to get information about someone you know.
You have a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches. You have a right to remain silent and have a lawyer present while being questioned by the police.
You are not trained in talking to the police, but the police are trained in interrogating suspects and witnesses. They know how to get you to waive your rights, consent to a search, open the door, let them in and get you talk to them.
If the Police, FBI, State Police, Sheriffs, or any official, including Child Protection Services, Insurance Investigator, or other person calls you, writes you a letter, or knocks on your door all you should say is "I will be happy to cooperate as soon as my lawyer is present."
This will make you look innocent and appear to have nothing to hide. They will know that you are one of the very few people that is not naive enough to allow them to violate your constutional rights. They will get intimidating and try to scare you, but you must remain calm and insist that your lawyer be present before any questioning take place. Do not fall for any of their tricks or become intimidated or frightened.
Do not let them in without a warrant and ask to see it if they claim to have one. Do not even open the door as they will just walk in and claim that you allowed them to search. Do not consent to a search of your person, vehicle, apartment, or house.Tell your roomates, parents, and others not do allow the police to violate your constitutional rights or give them information that will be used to convict you of a crime and send you to jail.
After 30 years of practicing criminal law I am still astonished at how few people know how to handle the poilce and how many actualy confess and allow the police to search their house and car without a warrant.
I am the only lawyer in the world who has written a Miranda Rights Card for their clients and made it available on my website to be carried in your wallet and used as evidence as to what you told the police and how you did not consent to a search or tell them anything. It is read to the police and then signed and dated so that it can be shown to the judge at a later date when the issue arises at the hearing and trial.
As a result of this, the clients that use this card are almost never convicted of any crime and often are not even charged as the police were just fishing for evidence. If they had the evidence they would have already arrested that person.
The majority of people who commit crimes like burglary, robbery, drug dealing, and larceny are unsophisticated, uneducated, easily manipulated, and do not know their constitutional rights. Intelligent and sophisticated people know what their rights are and know that the police cannot force them to give statements. They know that the police are allowed to lie to them, threaten them, or make false promises to get them to do what they want. You do not have to be a constitutional scholar or a lawyer to know that, you just have to watch any cop show on TV.
The fact is that intelligent people almost never get arrested for violent crimes or even minor offenses like shoplifting, assault, or harassment. They understand the consequences of committing crimes and are not desperate for money. They are not poor decision makers and they understand the law and avoid committing such offenses. They have good communication skills and are not violent. They do not threaten or fight with other people, they know better than that. It is the unsophisticated people who need to be taught how to handle the poilce and other people as well.
Intelligent people know that when the police say "You should cooperate and things will go better for you," that this is a lie designed to get them to admit their guilt.
The police know that if they handcuff you and lock you in a cell for a day you will be so scared and worried that you will do or say anything that you think will help you. They will tell you that you are "going to prison" and that only they can "help you."
They only thing that you can do to help yourself is to remain silent and call a lawyer. Any "deal" that is negotiated should be made by your lawyer, not you. If the police do not have the evidence or statements they may not even be able to charge you. There will be almost no evidence against you and your lawyer can either win the trial or negotiate a favorable plea deal.
Once you have allowed the police to search for and seize the drugs, weapons, child porn, or other evidence and make admissions the prosecutor will know that he can easily convict you and your lawyer will have no bargaining power. You will have to accept any plea deal the prosecutor offers since you will certainly lose at trial.
I have seen thuosands of people who went to jail and became convicted felons just because their mother, girlfriend, roomate, or landlord allowed the police to walk in and search their property without a warrant. The police do not need a warrant if someone consents to the search and it does not need to be in writing.
If the police or anyone asks you questions about anything call the Law Offices of John J. Carney to protect your rights. Tell the police, "I do not give you consent to search. I will not answer any questions until my lawyer is present. I demand that all questioning stop and that I be allowed to call my lawyer."
After that you must be smart enough to ignore all the manipulation that they will try to use to get you to talk to them or search your property. If you want to be really smart, don't commit the crime in the first place, consider the consequences and make the smart choice. If you do happen to commit a crime just remember, "Fish Only Get Caught When They Open Their Mouth."
I am not here to judge you, insult you, or make you feel foolish, I am here to help you and that will often involve telling you the hard truths that you need to know.