WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER TAKE LEGAL ADVICE FROM POLICE OR THE INTERNET
Has a cop ever told you that your legal situation wasn't serious & that it would end a certain way? Or worse, the officer told you that you didn't need an attorney? Have you ever searched google for legal advice only to find that you were given incorrect information? If so, read this guide.
The Officer Lied to me When he Said my Case Would End a Certain Way or That I Didn't Need a Lawyer.Sadly, I hear from clients all too often that police lied to them about their case. The question isn't whether police can lie (they can and often do), but why they lie. I believe that cops lie to arrested people for several reasons. Specifically, the officer tells you that the case isn't serious so that he/she can calm you down. In calming you down and convincing you that your case isn't serious, the officer can often get you to talk freely and openly about your case. Remember that cops are NOT your friend when you're in this situation. You may know lots of cops and respect them but when you're under arrest or being investigated, they are there to BUILD A CASE AGAINST YOU. Do NOT ever forget that. Once you begin to speak freely, even if you think you're innocent, the officer is building a case against you. Officers will say things like, "I'll talk to the DA for you," or "I'll make sure you get DIVERSION," or "I'll tell the DA to not ask for bail," or "I'll get you out of here tonight with a desk appearance ticket ("DAT") if you cooperate." These tactics are all designed to trick you into speaking without the benefit of a lawyer. One of the most reprehensible things that a cop can tell a suspect is that they don't need a lawyer. If this were true, then why do they still arrest the person? The reason why cops tell a suspect that he/she doesn't need a lawyer is because once you demand to speak with a lawyer (any lawyer), the cop has to stop questioning you until a lawyer arrives. The officers obviously want to build their case without a lawyer blocking them. The officer tells you that you don't need a lawyer for the same reason he/she tells you that your case isn't serious. The cops want you to put your guard down and speak so that the police can build a case against you. If you don't really need a lawyer, the case must not be serious, right? Well, that's what they get you to think so that you will cooperate and help them build a case against you. Do yourselves a favor and always demand to speak to an attorney. It can be the difference between no criminal conviction and a criminal conviction.
I Read Something on the Internet About the law That Turned out to be InaccurateI cringe every time a client tells me he/she read something on the internet. It's not that I don't want clients to be knowledgeable, it's that the internet, while a good place to start for legal information, is usually wrong or it leaves out important information. First, the person writing the advice is usually not an attorney. Remember that attorneys are people who study the law, take exams to demonstrate competency and then spend their entire careers immersed in the law and in taking never ending refresher courses. Therefore, when you stack that beside some anonymous person on the internet, it should be clear who should get your confidence. Second, even if the person writing the advice is an attorney, remember that there are plenty of attorneys who do not possess competency in the area in which they're giving advice. I often have to fix mistakes that other attorneys who claimed to be skilled in an area of law have made. Lastly, even if the advice is accurate, you should realize that there is no one size fits all category under the law. Every case is different and quite often, the outcome of a case depends upon several factors including (1) the background of the client; (2) the county in which the case is pending (this can make a huge difference), (3) the Judge before whom the matter is pending and (4) the Assistant DA who is handling the case. Also, many clients become informants and some victims choose not to cooperate in the prosecution of a case. When the defendant is cooperating or the victim is not cooperating, this can be a huge factor in resolving a case to one's benefit. The lesson is that while the internet is a good place to start for legal advice, one should ultimately seek advice from a qualified attorney.