Don’t Physically Resist
Video Transcribed: I want to you a little bit about what to do if the police have violated your rights. And to start with, I’m going to note that I’m keeping this video limited to your remedies in terms of a future criminal proceeding. You may also have other remedies in civil court, but that’s going to be a discussion for another day.
For today, I just want to talk about your remedies in a future criminal proceeding. If you believe the police violated your rights during the course of an arrest or a citation, a couple of things to know. Number one, do not agree to anything because if you volunteer for a search, you voluntarily make a statement, you waive any objection you have in the future if the court should find it was indeed voluntary. So the first thing is, don’t agree to anything. Don’t agree to sign anything. Don’t agree to waive anything.
Now, the second thing is, don’t physically resist. If you physically resist, best-case scenario, you could catch a felony charged for something. For example, assaulting an officer. If you put your hand on an officer, you can get assault and battery on a police officer. It’s a felony and you will have a serious problem. That’s the best-case scenario.
Worst case scenario, you can end up seriously injured or killed because they may also respond to violence. So long and short of it, do not physically resist the police ever. Actually, let me go back and comment on that.
When I say that, I mean, I’ll clarify, do not physically resist the police if you believe they’re violating your rights, is what I mean by that. Do not physically resist the police if you believe they’re violating your rights. That is a situation to handle in court.
Now, if you’re talking about an illegal search, I think verbally saying very clearly, “I do not consent to any searches officer,” is sufficient to establish you’re not consenting to this. And you should maintain that. If you’re talking about a Fifth Amendment situation, the right to remain silent, if you’ve been threatened, I would still maintain my silence.
The two things you should tell the police in that situation are, “I’m going to decline to make a statement, and I’d like to see a lawyer right now.” And you just keep saying that. But what about, what do you do later? What should you do if they have illegally searched you and they could obtain something they believe is evidence against you, or you did slip up and say something. What should you do?
Well, first of all, when you are hiring a lawyer in a criminal matter if any of those types of things happen during the initial arrest phase or during the search phase, you need to tell your lawyer about that immediately in as much detail as you possibly can. These situations are very fact-specific so it’s important that you give as much detail as possible. They’re going to want to know, did you have cuffs on? Where did the interview occur?
What happened immediately before they searched you? What did they say? Did they have a warrant? Were you driving? Were you on the street? Was it in your home? Had you invited them into your home? All of those details matter because any one of those can make the difference between something being an illegally taken statement or not? So it’s very important that you relay as many details as you can possibly recall.
Now, a couple of other things to be aware of in that situation. The remedy you’re usually looking at is something called a Jackson-Denno motion, and what that basically is, is it’s a motion to exclude evidence and you’re going to argue it on the basis of the constitutional violation. For example, let’s say that the police tell you they want to interview you and they take you into custody and they bring you into an interview room. Let me be clear.
Let’s say you get arrested and you’re brought to an interview room at the police station and they start asking you questions and they never read you your rights, that’s a Miranda violation. Let’s say they threatened you. That’s a separate violation. That would be a direct violation of the Fifth Amendment. They’re not allowed to threaten you to get you to confess.
Let’s say that the police just grab you out the street and frisk you, and they find something on you and you get arrested, that would be a Fourth Amendment violation. All of those things would be addressed through the Jackson-Denno motion, where you would argue essentially, this evidence was improperly obtained and should properly be excluded because of the constitutional violation.
Now, this is not something you want to try to do on your own because the argument is going to be very fact-specific, and depending on the nature of the violation is going to depend on which area of constitutional criminal law you’re citing, which is where you really want to get a good lawyer involved.
But for your own self to what you can do to help yourself in that situation is be a good witness. Remember as much detail as you can and make sure you relate it to your lawyer so that they can draft an appropriate motion to hopefully get that stuff thrown out. If you are looking for a divorce attorney for men or a men’s rights attorney in Tulsa, contact me.