Saw a couple of really fascinating videos over at Bruce Schneier’s blog by Professor James Duane of the Regent University School of Law about why in a criminal matter you should never ever talk to the police or any other government agent without a lawyer. Guilty or innocent, it doesn’t matter, nothing you say can help you.
Here’s Professor Duane’s video:
Followed by an equally fascinating video featuring George Bruch from the Virginia Beach police department who basically tells you that everything the Professor said is true:
I’m fortunate in that my dealings with the police have been few and very far between. The last encounter was when I unsuccessfully tried to turn left back in November of 2003 and, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have said much to the police, but I did and I was convicted and fined for “failure to yield to oncoming traffic” despite the fact that the people that hit me were running the light. Granted it’s a misdemeanor traffic accident and not a murder trial, but I probably would’ve fared better had I invoked my right to not self-incriminate. I don’t foresee ever being in a position where I’d be under suspicion on more serious charges, but then life is unpredictable so these videos make for some very compelling education just the same.
Bonus points for the repeated lesson that “people are stupid.”