I repeat this and elsewhere, because people just don't get it. So, I will repeat this over and over in various venues, because when people do not seem to get the message, they accordingly injure themselves and their families and their friends by shooting their mouths off. I keep having clients come to my office for help regarding their arrest for this and that, and over 95% of the time they have, upon being apprehended by the police, confessed to a major component of what becomes the charge, or they have allowed searches which gave up the evidence being used against them, or they say something that gets a loved one in trouble, and I ask why.
And I have a new spin on the problem. My clients know full well what I mean about not talking to the government, about the exposure of them and their family to things that will injure them and their families, and yet the dumbest thing I have ever witnessed along that line happened two weeks ago.
A client’s spouse thought he knew better than anyone about how his wife’s case should proceed, and he wanted the Payton Place atmospherics which led up to the problem, which are unrelated to the narrow charge, to be known, thinking [or not] that the government would just cave in and say “Gosh, now that you have told us how bad a witness is, we will let you off the hook.” Uh---WRONG!
So, this intermeddler authors an incredible story about all of the history leading up the alleged crime, which includes an admission of the crime[!], and has his wife sign it, and then faxes it to the DA!!!!
On my next appearance, when I am answering ready for the preliminary hearing, the DA says, in court, “I have additional material for Mr. Kennedy.” “Huh?,” I inquire. “It’s from his client.”
When I saw what was stupidly sent to the DA by my client’s husband, Vesuvius itself was mild compared to me!
Do not think you know better than your lawyer [especially if I am that lawyer!] how to handle a case, and do not think sharing tidbits and morsels with the government will help your case. Once the government has decided to prosecute, it is like a pit-bull with a cow bone – it will not let go.
We fought a Revolution partially to keep government out of our houses and out of our mouths, and yet people continue to blab to the cops when confronted. I ask why, and the answer is always a variation on “I thought I had to,” or “Well, he’s the man,” or some such contra-constitutional inanity.
You do not ever need to talk to the cops. You do not ever need to consent to searches. And you should never do so. NEVER. In the 1,000s of cases I have had in my career, it never, ever, once helped the accused’s situation to talk to the cops. NEVER! Why do you do it?
“Uh…, I had nothing to hide.” That is not the point. First off, they used it against you, so you should have hidden it. And secondly, it is part of our scheme, part of the thing we shed blood over, that the burden is government’s, and the default position is with the individual and in the direction of liberty.
Once you start talking, the cops are very deft in making you say what they need for their report and theory of the case. The interrogation techniques in vogue now play on the same psychological devices perfected by Nazi interrogators in the 30’s. You will eventually say what they want to fit their theory, so just shut up.
It NEVER, EVER HELPS. “Uh…, but I am a honest person…, I don’t want to lie.” I didn’t say lie; I said don’t say anything. Government is not your friend when investigating crimes [or, indeed, most times]; it is only its own friend.