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Police Contact Do's and Dont's

Posted by attorney Donald Taylor

THIS IS WRITTEN BY RUDY TAYLOR FROM EXPERIENCE. IT IS NOT TAKEN FROM OTHER SITES OR BOOKS. If you are pulled over in your vehicle by a cop, DO NOT: 1. DO NOT-Get out of the car unless told to do so. First say "May I ask why?" (Remember - you are being recorded). 2. DO NOT-Speak to the officer as if you can "friend" your way out of trouble. Everything they do and say is designed to build evidence against you. The days of the friendly cop are over. 3. DO NOT-CONSENT TO A SEARCH of yourself or your vehicle!!!! Always ask the officer "May I ask why you want to search?" 4. DO NOT-Speed or break any other traffic laws. Make sure all of your light bulbs, including your license plate bulb are working. A cop needs to have - are you ready? An articulated reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to pull you over. Minor traffic violations are articulated reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. 5. DO NOT-Tell the officer you have your gun in the car. It's not against the law unless you're a felon and it's none of their business. Just keep it concealed. 6. DO NOT-Admit you had "a couple" of beers. The jury can't smell it on the video. 7. DO NOT-Consent to breath test. However, these days blood tests are ordered in every case. This law should be found unconstitutional soon but, for now, we are stuck with this severe invasion of our privacy. 8. DO NOT-Refuse to do field sobriety tests. However, you should always explain any problems you have with balance before you start ie. bad knee, prior injuries to legs, arthritus, inner ear problems, head injury, lime disease, etc. Then, take a deep breath and do the tests. A jury will not convict you for a few instances of bad balance. (If you fall in the bar ditch, stop the test and call me as soon as you can.) Law enforcement officers have an absolute right to see your identification and check your insurance once pulled over under reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. They can ask where you've been, where you're going, and if you've been drinking while they are dealing with any traffic violation. Be polite for the camera and audio recording. They should not keep you detained longer than it takes them to write you a ticket or obtain probable cause to ask you to leave your car ie. smell of alcoholic beverage, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, open container, etc. If a cop knocks on your door, DO NOT: 1. DO NOT-Go outside. 2. DO NOT-Let them inside unless you are shown a search warrant. 3. DO NOT even indicate they can come in by opening your door wide while being confronted. 4. DO NOT-Speak with them at all until you find out why they are there and have shown you proof of authority. 5. DO NOT-CONSENT TO A SEARCH!!!!! 6. DO NOT-Speak with them at all if they are investigating a crime unless you are the obvious victim. They are not your friend! Law enforcement officers have an absolute right to knock on your door without a warrant and ask to speak with you. You have an absolute right to nicely turn them away and politely ask them to get off your property. The smell of canibus is NOT probable cause to enter your residence against your will. If you are charged with a crime, DO NOT: 1. DO NOT-Speak with law enforcement - they are not your friend. It can not help; it can only hurt your case. 2. DO NOT-Speak with other inmates. Some are there just to gather information. Others will sell their grandmother to get a better deal on their case. 3. DO NOT-Speak on the jail phone about your case. Those conversations are recorded and admissable in court against you. 4. DO NOT-Write letters to anybody regarding your case. Letters can be used against you in court. 5.NEVER -Agree to a polygraph examination unless your attorney dictates the questions and circumstances. ALWAYS: 1. Find a GOOD CRIMINAL TRIAL LAWYER immediately. 2. Get a well-known trial lawyer because criminal lawyers who have tried many jury trials carry more stroke into the DA's office, get better deals, and give you the best chance for aquittal if you end up in trial. 3. Stay away from lawyers who handle a laundry list of cases. Rudy Taylor is a Criminal Defense Lawyer that has experience as a defense lawyer, felony prosecutor, and practices primarily Criminal Law. If you don't think you can afford Rudy, ask for an Application for Court Appointed Attorney. They have them at the jail or you can download the Brown County version below.

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