Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To Question or not to Question, That is the ...Ummm, Question...

Occasionally, an officer will make an arrest for something relatively minor, a petty theft for example. Upon returning to the jail to book the prisoner, a check of our suspect's criminal history reveals he has a warrant for something rather more severe. Say homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, serial rape, etc.

If you happen to be the officer making the minor misdemeanor arrest, do us all a favor...

DO NOT MIRANDIZE HIM/HER, AND DO NOT QUESTION HIM/HER!

If you Mirandize your arrestee and he or she lawyers up, you have just completely blown the more serious case for the other guys. They now cannot question the person regarding the more severe crime because they have asked for a lawyer.

Do everyone a favor. If you have locked your case up fairly well, turn it in as is without interviewing your arrestee. If your case has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese, let it go.

The investigating officers, victims, and prosecutors on the bigger fish will thank you for it...

2 comments:

Flying Tiger said...

I got one better for you. I arrested a 288 suspect, Spanish speaking only. I had to have one of my partners translate for me. This partner is not particularly intelligent.

So anyway, I tell my partner that I want to try to get an implied waiver of his rights. So what does my partner do? Reads him his rights, then instead of just questioning him, he asks, "Do you want to talk to us? You don't have to if you don't want to."

So the guy thinks about it for a few seconds, then lawyers up. Great. So later on, while I'm booking the guy he begins to make spontaneous statements, and my partner tells him to be quiet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lucky for me, I had already completed a thorough investigation, and the guy ended up plea bargaining. But shit man, some people should not be cops...

Corrinne said...

Flying Tiger, I am not involved in Law Enforcement in any way, but why would an officer stop a suspect from incriminating themselves??? Jeeez...

I watch a show called "The First 48" like a fiend, and it is endlessly amusing how many people dig themselves in deep because they just talk, talk, talk. Or make up stupid lies and it would have been better if they said nothing. Frequently the Detectives will say" If this guy doesn't talk, we have nothing, we have to let him go" and guess what, the suspect sings like a canary... lol If they only knew.