Million Dollar Legal Advice

The following advice is worth millions of dollars, countless years in prison, and many saved lives.

If everyone followed this advice far fewer people would be charged with crimes. They would, collectively, be saved millions of dollars in attorneys fees (not to mention lower taxes from needing fewer prosecutors and judges).

Of those charged with crimes, many fewer would be convicted. They would, collectively, be saved countless years in prison.

Of those who avoided prosecution or conviction, many would also avoid the death penalty. Their lives would be saved.

Don’t Talk To Police

I give you this advice for free: Don’t talk to the police. If the police question you, say “I take the Fifth.”

Almost everyone in prison is there because they talked to the police. They thought they could explain; they thought they could help themselves. But when the police want to talk to you, it’s not for your own good. They’re not looking for evidence to clear you. They’re looking for evidence against you.

The police tell you, “we’re your friends, we can help. Make it easier on yourself. Confess now,” so you confess, and go away for the maximum anyway. The police are not your friends.

Murder Cases

Or the police ask about a murder: “what do you know about it?” You say, “I was there, but I didn’t do it.” They ignore the denial, write down “he admits being there,” and use that to convict you. The police only hear what they want to hear.

Robbery Cases

Or the police ask about a robbery: “what do you know about the robbery?” You say, “I didn’t do the robbery. I just sold the guy drugs.” They charge you with dealing drugs, and you go to prison.

Police Are Allowed to Lie

The police are sneaky. They’re allowed to lie to you in order to get a confession. You have a constitutional right not to talk to the police. That means that if you refuse to talk to them, that can’t be used against you. If you take the Fifth (it’s easy: say “I take the Fifth”), nobody will legally be able to consider that in deciding whether you’re guilty or not. (The cops may think you’re guilty, but they think you’re guilty anyway.)

Its Best to Ask for a Lawyer

You also have a constitutional right to a lawyer. If you say, “I want a lawyer,” the police are supposed to stop questioning you. Sometimes, though, they don’t hear you demand a lawyer. So you have to tell them again. And again. And again:

Cop: Where were you Tuesday night?
You: I want a lawyer.
Cop: You don’t need a lawyer, do you?
You: I want a lawyer.
Cop: If you’re not guilty, why do you need a lawyer?
You: I want a lawyer.
Cop: I can’t do anything for you once you get a lawyer.
You: I want a lawyer.

And so on. If you’ve already talked to the police, talk to a lawyer before talking any more. Cooperating with the government is sometimes like dancing with a gorilla—you don’t stop when you want to stop—but if you started talking without consulting a lawyer, a lawyer can tell you if it is in your best interest to keep cooperating.

If you have an appointment to talk to the police, don’t go. Talk to a lawyer first. After investigating the case and hearing the truth from you (never lie to your lawyer!), your lawyer may decide you should talk to the police. In very rare situations, this is a good decision. It should never be done without an investigation, and it should never be taken lightly.

Don’t Talk to Police