Tuesday, January 10, 2012

5th Amendment misconceptions

Just a quick note before I head out (will catch up on updates tonight when I get back) -- here is a video I feel that everyone should watch.  It's a lecture given by a professor that explains why it is important to exercise the 5th amendment rather than talk to law enforcement.



The video itself is long (about 48 minutes) and the first guy talks fast, so it's a lot to process (best to have this video open in a new window while you do other things, like I usually do).  Regardless, he gives good advice on dealing with police, all of which is verified by an actual officer in the second half.  Link, opens the video in a new window.

In summary:
- if questioned by police, or brought in for questioning, be polite, but say you're going to exercise your fifth amendment rights; talk only to a lawyer.
- if anyone remembers the part in The Grapes of Wrath where Tom and the family are with Floyd in Hooverville, Floyd gives Tom advice on dealing with deputies: act "bull-simple" (i.e., stupid).  It was true back then, and it's true now.
- the whole idea is to avoid self-incrimination, hence:
- the one thing I wish the video had addressed would be getting pulled over (since, I imagine, this is much more common than being hauled into the station for questioning).  One of my buddies, when he was pulled over and asked if he knew how fast he was going, answered by saying he was going at a safe and reasonable speed, and repeated it whenever he was questioned.  Again, note his avoidance of self-incrimination (and bull-simple attitude, I imagine).  Honestly though, I don't know what the exact protocol is for being pulled over and I really wish I knew.
- you can be put in  handcuffs without actually being arrested or charged for anything.  Beware of scare tactics.

The majority of us probably won't have to deal with law enforcement, but in the rare instance where we will have to, this is a pretty good primer on what to do.  Stay legal, stay safe, and don't inadvertently turn yourself in.

28 comments:

  1. That's scary, but people should already know this.

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  2. Regardless of why I followed you in the first place, this was an amazing post. Thank you SO much, watched the whole thing

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  3. Watched that whole video a little over a week ago. Great stuff.

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  4. But i bet this ony works in america.... here, the police are damn corrupted...

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  5. Very interesting video! I'm going to make sure I put my fifth amendment right to good use if I ever run into trouble.

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  6. Thats for posting this! I'm watching it now! Kids should see this in highschool!

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  7. I'm going to watch it in a second :I

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  8. Thanks for the great info. Definitely useful.

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  9. I'm not on the US, but this is interesting

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  10. This country is going downhill regardless of it's arcane rules and stipulations that traditionalists never want to change for some unknown reason =)

    Down with the 'system' and faux-authority!

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  11. Great video! The kind of a stuff everybody should watch.

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  12. cling onto as many rights as you can

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  13. Better stay out of trouble in the first place in my opinion.

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  14. I don't talk pigs.

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  15. For now I'm just trying to avoid situations like this.

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  16. This rule of thumb applies to many situations in life. Sometimes, the more you talk the more you get yourself into trouble.

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  17. Very good to know though I was already aware of half of these.

    Especially handy considering how untrustworthy police officers tend to be these days.

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  18. I'll watch it later, a bit too long to watch atm

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  19. I'm not exactly sure, but I think the police can hold a "suspect" for 24 hours without indicting him/her. I would have to look it up. Thanks for posting this one, I will try to listen to the podcast/video soon.

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  20. Ignore all cops and do whatever I want. Got it.

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