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An urgent, compact manifesto that will teach you how to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future when talking to police.
Law professor James J. Duane became a viral sensation thanks to a 2008 lecture outlining the reasons why you should never agree to answer questions from the police—especially if you are innocent and wish to stay out of trouble with the law. In this timely, relevant, and pragmatic new book, he expands on that presentation, offering a vigorous defense of every citizen’s constitutionally protected right to avoid self-incrimination. Getting a lawyer is not only the best policy, Professor Duane argues, it’s also the advice law-enforcement professionals give their own kids.
Using actual case histories of innocent men and women exonerated after decades in prison because of information they voluntarily gave to police, Professor Duane demonstrates the critical importance of a constitutional right not well or widely understood by the average American. Reflecting the most recent attitudes of the Supreme Court, Professor Duane argues that it is now even easier for police to use your own words against you. This lively and informative guide explains what everyone needs to know to protect themselves and those they love.
154 pages, Kindle Edition
First published September 20, 2016
If you are asked any question by a police officer or government agent and you realize that it is not in your best interest to answer, you should not mention the Fifth Amendment privilege or tell the police that you wish to exercise your right to avoid incriminating yourself. [....] Instead mention your Sixth Amendment right to a lawyer, and tell the police that you want a lawyer.
If you are ever approached by a police officer with those two questions, and your God-given common sense tells you that the officer is being reasonable in asking for an explanation, don’t be a jerk.
But if the police officer tries to strike up a conversation with you about the past, and where you were thirty minutes earlier, and who you were with, and where you had dinner, and with whom—you will not answer those questions. You will not be rude, but you will always firmly decline, with all due respect, to answer those questions.
I want a lawyer
"...to tell you how to handle a situation in which a police officer or other government agent comes to you without warning, in an encounter you neither requested nor proposed, and wants to ask you some questions about where you have been, who you have been with, and what you have done."