Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shut Up and Stay Out of Prison!

   Did you know that 99.5% of people who go to prison put themselves there?
   Did you know that most of these people, while perhaps have done something illegal, are often convicted of the highest level of felony when in fact they are only guilty of, at worst, a misdemeanor?
   How does this happen?
   It's simple. The person accused of a crime talked to police or to prosecutors when they should have remained silent.
   The reality of our criminal justice system is lost on most people. It is an adversarial system. The prosecutor and the cop aren't trying to help the accused out, even when they promise to. Their job is to get convictions.
   When a person is confronted by police, there is a dynamic taking place that is crystal clear. The cop is in control. He has the power to arrest. He has the power to zap someone with a tazer. He has the power to shoot someone with a gun. The person accused of a crime believes that he is powerless. The accused believes that if he tells the truth the cop, or the prosecutor, will go easier on him. Wrong!
    The cop has no authority to "go easy" on any person accused of a crime. Cops have only the discretion to arrest or not to arrest. All other decisions are made by the prosecutor. No person accused of a crime should ever believe a cop when he says, "just tell me the truth and I'll talk to the prosecutor to help you out." That  doesn't happen. The promise from a cop to do that is not legally binding. It's actually a flat lie.
    Cops are not allowed by law to promise not to prosecute in exchange for a confession. If a cop says, "Tell me what happened and I promise I won't charge you," it makes the confession of the accused inadmissible in court.
     Cops are quick to show the accused that the accused has no power. Cops put the accused in handcuffs. Cops lock the accused in the back of the police car.
      Here is what you need to know: Nothing you say, and I mean NOTHING you say will prevent you from being arrested. Everything you say, and I mean EVERYTHING, will be used against you.
     Now here's the amazing part: You have the power to change the dynamic and make the cop completely powerless against you. All you have to do is REMAIN SILENT.
     And it's perfectly legal! The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution gives you the right to remain absolutely silent when confronted by the police. You have the power to say nothing and the cop can't do anything about it. Of course, the cop will yell and raise hell with you. He'll try to browbeat you into talking, but it's sound and fury signifying nothing.
    You are within your rights to shut up!
    This is vitally important because you're going to be arrested anyway, but if you say absolutely nothing, you won't end up in prison, unless the cops have lock solid evidence against you -- which most of the time they don't.
    Here's an amazing statistic: More than 95 percent of my clients who remained silent when confronted by police ended up either with their case thrown out or with a not guilty verdict.
    So, shut up! Say nothing! Give your name, date of birth, social security number, address and then shut up!
    When the cops push you to talk, demand your lawyer and say, "I'm not talking until I see my lawyer." They'll push you.
    Just shut up. Exercise your 5th Amendment right to remain silent.
    And, to be sure, this works whether you are innocent and falsely accused or guilty. Remember, the prosecutor has to prove the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Don't help him by talking. Shut up and you will likely stay out of prison, especially if you hire a lawyer who is a criminal defense lawyer.
    Here's the equation: Cops+you-confession+lawyer=>not guilty.
    So shut up!
(Required by Alabama law: No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than other lawyers.)

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