A Lawyer’s Advice: How to deal with Cops

As all of the daily readers know, the entire Dumb Little Man crew was in court yesterday. The most eventful thing that happened was actually on the way out of the building. I found a lawyer’s business card sitting on the ground.

I still have no idea why, but I picked it up. It was one of those flip open cards, so it had twice as much space for the lawyer to spew information.

On the back of the card was something interesting – an actual script that you can use if you ever get in trouble.

I fired up the scanner and it’s not talking to my PC for some reason and I am not in the mood to fix it right now. For some reason, I’d rather type it. So here it is with all the bold and punctuation in tact (use your imagination to picture this on the back of flip open business card with a crease horizontally across the middle).

When you are done reading this, be sure to read the Flipside: A Cop’s Perspective.


ASSERTION OF RIGHTS

Officer, please understand –

I refuse to talk to you, other than to identify myself, until I consult with my attorney.

If you are investigating a DUI, I wish to remain silent and refuse to answer any of your questions. I refuse to tell you whether or not I have been drinking. I refuse to tell you how much I may or may not have been drinking and I refuse to tell you where I have been. I refuse to do any and all field sobriety tests and I refuse to do any breath, blood, or urine testing. I refuse to exit my vehicle unless I am under arrest and you tell me why I am under arrest.

I refuse to consent to any search of these premises or any other premises under my control, or in which I may have a possessory, or privacy interest, including my car, my body, or effects. I further refuse to consent to the taking of any portion of my property, or any specimen of my breath, bodily fluids, or tissue, for scientific analysis, without the reasonable opportunity to obtain the advice of my attorney by telephone.

If I am under arrest, I want to consult with my attorney. I wish to invoke and exercise my Miranda rights. If you attempt to question me, I wish to remain silent and I want my lawyer present. If you ignore my exercise of these rights and attempt to procure a waiver, I want to confer with my lawyer prior to any conversations with you. I refuse to participate in any line-up or to perform any physical acts, or to speak or display my person or property at your direction, without first conferring with my lawyer.

If I am taken into custody, removed from my present location, or separated from my property, I request a reasonable opportunity to make arrangements to secure my own property. I do not consent to any search, impoundment, or inventory of my property. I do, hereby waive any claim of liability for loss, theft, or damage against you or your superiors, or any other authority, and agree to hold all harmless therefrom, if I am afforded the reasonable opportunity to arrange for the safekeeping of my own property.

I desire to exercise all my rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Illinois to be free from your interference with my personal affairs.

If I am not under arrest, I want to leave. If I am free to leave, please tell me immediately so that I may go about my business.

The card references Illinois Statute 725 ILCS 5/103-4. To check out your state statutes, you can visit Cornell Law School but be prepared to search a bit.

No, this is not a free ticket to do bad stuff. We’re just letting you know what your rights are because frankly the entire thing has always confused me. Again, check your own state statutes!

Make sure you read Part 2 from the perspective of a cop. It will make you think twice about simply following the advice of all lawyers. In the end, you have to make your own choices. Also, make sure you read Dumb Little Man’s Terms and Conditions.

Additional information is available via an ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) video clip created in cooperation with the Flex your Rights Foundation. This demonstration, currently on Google Video, provides a 45-minute video demonstration of a police stop and provides some common tips that may help you if you choose to ignore everything we’ve listed already.

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