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A primer on what NOT to do when Mirandized

Discussion in 'Legal' started by rabid wombat, May 1, 2022.

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  1. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    https://lawofselfdefense.com/the-hunt-for-red-manslaughter-alec-baldwins-damning-police-interview/

    “Folks, if you’re being Mirandized it’s because the police want to question you as a potential suspect in a crime. This is just the process we have to go through, the detective says, just waving it off. It’s just our procedure. Yeah, it’s an investigatory procedure that could result in you spending much of the rest of your life in prison.

    This is no joke. They are Mirandizing you for a reason. And especially if they Mirandize you in a police interview room, with the one-way mirror right there. I mean, what do you think they’re doing? You’d have to be an idiot or an egomaniac to think that this is going to work out well for you, talking to these detectives.”

    More reasons to have a lawyer in your “contact list”….

    “Completely independent of the merits of whatever legal analysis we may do here with respect to Alec Baldwin, folks, if you’re being Mirandized, shut your mouth. That’s not the time to talk to the police until at least you have a lawyer present, your lawyer present, a competent lawyer present. So, word to the wise there, folks,”
     
    kje54, IlikeSA, Growlers and 5 others like this.
  2. IJ1981

    IJ1981 Member

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    Good advice . Have your attorney on speed dial. I do.
     
  3. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    Why would anyone even need to be told not to talk to police in such a situation until your lawyer says to.
     
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  4. IJ1981

    IJ1981 Member

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    Good question. But people under pressure and fear do it every single day.
     
  5. Shanvanvocht

    Shanvanvocht Member

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    You must not only request a lawyer, but also AFFIRMATIVELY assert your Fifth Amendment rights. Only then are the police prohibited from further questioning.
     
  6. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Likely to get a recording and get a call back on the best business day. Best to contact someone who will keep trying to contact the lawyer.
     
  7. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I'm still on the fence regarding self-defense insurance (USCCA, etc.) but like a gun, I'm assuming that if you ever need it, you're really glad to have it.
     
  8. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    A cop or a prosecutor may, in context based on their training and experience, interpret your words into a different meaning than you intended. Lawyers make good interpreters between questioner and answerer.
     
  9. Nicky Santoro

    Nicky Santoro Member

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    A lawyer may keep you from answering a loaded question.
     
    amp-rat, hdwhit, JTHunter and 3 others like this.
  10. IJ1981

    IJ1981 Member

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    Not my attorney. She answers her own phone and contacts me directly by text or phone or email.

    I learned the hard way to never talk to the police without attorney representation.I lost over a dozen firearms as a result.

    Thankfully, a knowledgeable, righteous Judge retrieved them for me 4 months later.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2022
  11. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    If she is not available, shei s not available.

    And do not expect her to be able to contact you.

    Call someone who will reach her as timely as possible.
     
  12. IJ1981

    IJ1981 Member

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    Ok, I give up! Will follow your good advice!:D
     
  13. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Where to start? First, if you didn't do anything wrong, many people feel like they can talk freely to the cops...because they didn't do anything wrong. Now, that may sound stupid to those of us in the know, but most people are not in the know.

    Second, you don't think you did anything wrong because you weren't involved in the situation.

    Third, you were a part of the situation, but being a good citizen who thinks you acted within the law, you feel like providing your side will help the hard working cops get their job done quickly and you will be home in time for dinner.

    Fourth, you heard and understood the words, but you believed the cop, as a person of authority, when he said Mirandizing you was just procedure, nothing to worry about.

    Fifth, as a good and concerned citizen who was actually involved, maybe just a witness, you are hoping to help the hardworking cops get the correct story so that they can arrest the correct person.

    Sixth, as a lying, cheating, scumbag, you are hoping to misdirect the the moronic, flatfooted cops and pin the crime on somebody else.

    Seventh, true story that occurred with a buddy of mine, you grew up believing the cops are all good people and that you always cooperate with the cops.

    Eight, some people have heard Miranda so many times, they don't actually process the seriousness of the meaning. Those are just words of formality like, "Hi, I am Officer Justice and this is my partner Officer Slaughter." (I actually met these guys)

    Nineth, you are young, inexperienced, intoxicated, stoned, in mourning, in shock, in physical injury pain, etc. and not actually capable of processing the significance of the situation you are in at the time, unlike somebody who may be older more experienced, clear headed, didn't just see their spouse gunned down next to them, uninjured, etc. and fully capable of making proper decisions in situations of extreme significance.

    That is about all that I can think of, offhand, but you would have to ask the thousands of people each year that opt to cooperate with the cops when they should be requesting a lawyer and otherwise keeping their mouths shut. Maybe you could ask IJ1981 why.
     
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  14. IJ1981

    IJ1981 Member

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    Excellent post! You covered all the bases.
     
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  15. IJ1981

    IJ1981 Member

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    I must remark that the return of all of my firearms was one of the last decisions the Judge heard before his retirement in January, 2019.

    I am forever in his debt.
     
  16. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    Great point. Didn't think of that but makes perfect sense.
     
  17. danmc

    danmc Member

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    A very good article and post- a real life lesson to be learned here.
     
  18. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Officers conducting an "interview" are trained not only in how to conduct them, but in the psychology of human behavior. They KNOW how people think, and because they know this they can manipulate the interviewee.

    Also, they have the advantage of having a long time to prepare for the interview, and they will have researched all the evidence, all the witnesses, all the statutes applicable, etc. They will have likely also rehearsed much of the interview long before conducting the actual interview.

    And you can bet the interviewers themselves will be chosen "to best effect". They don't put junior personnel on high profile cases. They will likely choose interviewers with a mind of how the interviewee would be likely to respond to them.

    And their questions will absolutely be geared towards meeting ALL the elements of any applicable criminal statutes they're looking at charging a person with. They are, in no way, "random" questions. In fact, questions will be rephrased and asked multiple times for several reasons. One is to get the interviewee to actually give an answer that supports their case. Another is to show by repeatedly asking and rephrasing their questions that the interviewee really admitted to the elements which are required to charge a person with a criminal violation, and understands them.

    The police are NOT in the business of trying to "find people innocent". They're in the business of trying to find enough evidence to support a criminal conviction of a suspect. It is not the job of those being questioned by the police to make their job easier, and if they DO make their job easier, you can bet they'll use that to their advantage to the maximum extent practicable.
     
  19. RickD427

    RickD427 Member

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    Chief,

    I have to respectfully disagree here.

    First off, it's really important to understand that we do not "have a dog in the fight" as to whether a person is guilty of an offense, or not. We're trying to seek the truth. We don't a get a free toaster after making a set number of arrests and it's a very significant professional embarrassment when someone we have arrested is subsequently cleared. The implication that we're trying to put someone in jail is misplaced. There's a lot of damage that has to be undone if we get it wrong.

    At the onset of a field investigation, there is the LEO and the subject of the investigation. Only one of them knows what actually happened.

    Being given a "Miranda Admonishment" is not a good a good thing. The admonishment is given when the subject is in custody (and with a lot of case law to determine what that means) and the LEO suspects that the subject may make incriminating statements. There is a strong inference to be drawn from the admonishment.

    There is no "One Size Fits All" solution as to what one should do when given the admonishment. It's most important to fully consider what information is likely held by the officer, what you know that the officer doesn't, and how your veracity will likely stand up to the difference. Do the math, and only then decide whether is advantageous to speak with the officer, or to request counsel.

    I've seen several instances where subjects declined to participate in a field investigation, went to jail, and were finally cleared after interview, and where they would have been cleared in the field, and absent an arrest, if they participated in the field investigation.

    It's also important to note that when a person exercises what they believe to be a "Right to Remain Silent" without having been provided an admonishment (please note that the Fifth Amendment only provides the right where there is a criminal matter. It is not a right that applies in all cases), the LEO can use that silence as an "adoptive admission" against them. Please refer to the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Texas v Salinas for the details.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2022
  20. 5whiskey

    5whiskey Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly with ALMOST all of that. I am a cop and was an investigator for 8 years. I wouldn't say Police are hard-core trained in psychology, but we certainly get crash courses on the psychology of interviewing others and the psychology of a guilty mind. I absolutely always prepared, planned, and studied whenever possible for an interview relating to a high profile crime. Brand new guys obviously don't interview murder suspects. Almost all of your post is spot on.

    The one point I will contend, you are still partly true. Police, by default, aren't in the business of going to great lengths of proving innocence FOR citizens. However, most good and skilled investigators have no interest in charging the wrong person, or charging cases that appear justified and prosecution is very unlikely. Often times, a person involved in a SD situation will have intimate knowledge and facts that will support their justification. So telling that story, and those facts, IS important. It is certainly wise to consult an attorney, and to have him/her present.

    Lastly. If you are ever mirandized, there is about a 90+% chance you are going to jail and WILL be charged. Police can interview you all day long without advising you of Miranda if the interview is not custodial. Custodial means you are in custody. Now, quick fact, "in custody" does not necessarily mean you are under arrest and will be charged. It does mean you are not free to leave and you are seized. Most investigators will go to great lengths to conduct non-custodial interviews if they do not have sufficient cause to arrest. The moral of that story... just because you haven't been mirandized doesn't always mean it's safe to talk.

    There are overzealous cops out there. There are some that are just plain bad and dirty (though that is rare). Most investigators sincerely have an interest to "get it right." Often times, you have the facts that can clear you, and you NEED to tell them to police. You also NEED to consult a lawyer befofe doing or saying much more than "he/she tried to attack me and I was in fear for my life." I say this as a cop. Many cops do, and I don't know why, but I never got mad if someone requested an attorney. Or denied consent to search. Or exercised any other constitutional right. Especially if it's a normal citizen caught up in a bad situation. If it's Johnny drug slinger, twice convicted felon, holding a gun with the serial number filed off... yeah I'm still sensitive to basic constitutional rights but I don't say "hey man you need to talk to a lawyer" preemptively. Johnny drug slinger should know that already. And he's not a normal citizen who genuinely doesn't want to do wrong/harm. He's made his decisions in life.
     
  21. 5whiskey

    5whiskey Member

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    Spot on, and i laughed a little at the bold. Seriously, you don't get favor, prizes, or promotions for doing your job well. At least most places, and in my experience. All you get is a greater case load and more expected of you.
     
  22. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    I never said the truth wasn't being sought-after. I said they're looking for evidence to support a criminal conviction of a suspect.

    Those questions being asked aren't being asked to determine innocence. That isn't the goal with a suspect.
     
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  23. RickD427

    RickD427 Member

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    Chief,

    You're contradicting yourself.

    If you believe that the LEO's purpose in asking questions is only to implicate a "Suspect", then the truth is NOT being sought. We interview "Subjects" in field investigations to determine if they have criminal liability in a matter, or if they do not have criminal liability. Both are potential outcomes of the investigative process. There ain't no "Suspect" at that point in time. Only after the determination is made that they do have criminal liability do they become a "Suspect" (and once a prosecutor has filed charged they graduate to being a "Defendant.")

    The LEO is looking both for evidence to exonerate folks without criminal liability, and to implicate folks who do have criminal liability.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2022
  24. starnbar

    starnbar Member

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    One thing not touched on for all you new boots in the LEO/ public/ civil/ field if you yourself get called in invoke the 5th and the Garrity act and do not give up those.
     
  25. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    Because everyone has the right to remain silent, but very few have the ability.
    This. I have actually given Mrs. McGee a list of people to call if I'm ever arrested. I get one call from the jail. She gets as many as she wants from home. A lawyer, bondsman, my boss, my parents . . . People who either: (a) need to know that I'm in jail; or (b) who I don't want to surprise by showing up on their morning newscast.
     
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