Don’t consent to search of your car or person


Police need to have a good reason to search your car or your person.  If the police have a valid search warrant then they are allowed to search the areas that are specified in the warrant.  However, in most searches of cars and people, police don’t have a warrant because they don’t have time to get a warrant. 

If the police search a person or car without a warrant, they need a legally recognized reason to search.  If the police don’t have a legitimate reason to search, then the court may end up suppressing the evidence that was found. 

The most important thing that a suspected person can do is not to consent to any search.  A lot of people will consent to a search of their person or car because they believe they have no other choice.  What is even more astounding is that many people will consent to the search knowing that there are illegal materials in the car or on their person.

Once a person gives consent, it helps the police greatly.  When a person consents to being searched, the police no longer need a legitimate reason to search.  The police are allowed to search because the person has consented.   The police do not need to warn the suspect that he has the right to refuse to be searched.  The lesson is never consent to a search.  If the police find evidence so be it.  Don’t take away your own rights by consenting to the search and taking away your opportunity to force the police to justify their warrantless search. 

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Disgusting drug stories, don’t get into them or it may lead you to one of these places


We have all heard it before, drugs are bad.  Well, it isn’t easy for most people to grasp exactly how bad they really are.  I am not here to preach, but here are a few gross drug user stories I have come across my travels.

I have always found it odd how people can insert a needle into their arm while using heroin.  Seeing that most people are afraid of needles, how can someone constantly volunteer their arm to that torture?  From my travels I have heard that heroin is usually the drug of last resort.

It runs cheaper than other drugs and works quicker.  However, the downsides are huge.  The using of unclean and shared needles have many people contracting different diseases.  A lot of drug users will have hepatitis, HIV, and other horrible diseases.  In one of the worse cases I have seen, a girl had sores all over her body including her face.  Everyday, the sores would bleed and she would look like a bloody pulp.

I hear that Meth users take the drug and rub it across their gums.  As the drug comes in contact with the gum line, it starts rotting the teeth out from the roots.  As a result, a meth user’s teeth will fall out.

Finally, heroin is truly a horrible drug.  Aside from the diseases and bloody sores that come from that, some users will do anything to continue their habit.  One probation officer said that many users will go to extremes to hide their habits from authorities.  Many people will insert the needle between their toes to hide the marks that the needles make.  Females have been known to stick the needle underneath their finger nails then put on nail polish.  Finally, one of the worst stories I have heard, is that of a man who inserted heroin into his own male body part because that was the only good vein left on his body.

As I have heard one person say, the best thing is to never try drugs.  You may like it too much that one time and it may be impossible to stop.

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For more information:

http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/treatmeth.html

http://www.adcare.com/

http://www.theagapecenter.com/Treatment-Centers/Massachusetts.htm

http://www.recoveryconnection.org/find_drug_rehab/Massachusetts.php

http://www.treatment-centers.net/treatment-directory/massachusetts.html



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Police Interrogation (reader suggested topic)


Couple weeks back an avid reader suggested that I write about police interrogations. I liked the idea and finally came up with this. If you have any suggestions for topics please feel free to send them along and I will do my best to write about them. First my disclaimer, I am not a police officer, have never been trained in interrogation and I am not an expert in this area. The following about police interrogation is from my experience in viewing these types of interactions.

There are many things that work against you during an interrogation. The more you understand the process the better you can protect yourself. The best advice is to stay silent and get a lawyer as soon as possible. Aside from that, here are a few points to keep in mind.

The speed of the process. I hear the words, “well it all just happened so quickly” way too often. That is one of the largest problems working against you. Something happens, you get arrested, driven back to the police station, and then they start asking questions. The pace really bothers a lot of people, and it hurts their concentration. A lot of people are still trying to figure out what just happened at the scene, or are stunned about being arrested and as a result don’t pay attention at the police station. It is important that you stay focused, and in the moment.

The atmosphere. The area that you are usually brought into is a small bare room. The room is uncomfortable and it makes a lot of people uneasy and gives them a feeling of not being in control. There is usually a double sided mirror, video recording, some old chairs, uncomfortable lighting, and a sorry looking table. All this can make people feel uneasy. When you feel uneasy, it gives the other side the advantage.

The numbers. There are usually at least two officers there when the questioning happens. This uneven number can make people feel helpless, especially in a small room. The police do have to give you your Miranda rights. Those are usually given at the beginning when the conversation is still pretty easygoing. Because of the light atmosphere at the beginning, a lot of people sign away their rights. However, once the questioning gets going most regret waiving their rights. The police don’t have to let you know that you can still assert your right to an attorney even after you waive your rights. Remember to ask for an attorney before you speak with them, but even if you sign a waiver, you can still ask for an attorney later on.

The questioning. The police are very good at getting people talking. At the beginning of the questioning, they tend to ask easy questions. This usually gets people use to talking to them. We as a society have a tendency to keep talking once we start talking. The police may also use small amounts of outside information, like we talked to this person or we found this evidence, to encourage you further.

Video tapes and signed confessions. Usually every interviewed is video taped and the police will ask you to sign a written confession. A video taped signed confession can be devastating, and they usually are. Most of the time they are a key piece of the prosecution puzzle. Even if the police have a lot of physical or derivative evidence, they must link the evidence together to point at you. When you have a signed written confession you are helping the police tie the evidence together. You can be even filling in gaps that the police could not solve without more information.

The majority of police officers are nice to talk to and pretty helpful. However, they have a job to do and cases to investigate. A large part of their investigation requires them to question people. Knowing that, it is very important that you stay vigilant and protect yourself at all times. After all, you wouldn’t tell your spouse about the details of the bachelor or bachelorette party, would you? Then again I wouldn’t want to see the thing your spouse may do in response to you invoking your right to remain silent, or to an attorney.

Arrests and Interrogations FAQ
http://articles.directorym.com/Arrests_and_Interrogations_FAQ_Lawrence_MA-r935136-Lawrence_MA.html

Mark A. Godsey: Shining the Bright Light on Police Interrogation in America
http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/osjcl/Articles/Volume6_2/Godsey-FinalPDF.pdf

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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You have the right to remain talking?


Most if not every person knows the Miranda warnings by heart:

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can, and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.

It is truly astonishing the amount of people who are given these rights and still decide to talk to the police. The police tell them that they have the right to remain silent, yet most people rather choose to exercise their right to remain talking at their own peril.

If the police suspects that you have committed a crime, and have enough evidence to file an official complaint, they will. There is little that you can say to stop the police from doing that. While you may believe you can talk your way out of the situation, it is highly unlikely to happen. Police officers are trained to extract information from people, and most of them are very effective at doing just that.

You have a right to an attorney, and one will be provided if you can’t afford one. Therefore, there is no reason why you should not talk to an attorney before talking to the police, or to have an attorney present during the interview. Think about it, before you go in for surgery wouldn’t you want a professional doctor to warn you about the possible dangers of the procedure, and reduce the risks that you may face?

When you are properly given your Miranda rights and confess, it makes it very difficult to suppress the statements. To make matters worse, police are trained to obtain a written confession and to tape the interviews. Many times, the confession is the strongest part of the prosecution’s case. So if you decide to exercise your right to talk, make sure you are ready to face the consequences.

Expert law provides a good question and answer about Miranda rights: http://www.expertlaw.com/library/criminal/miranda_rights.html

Globe story regarding a Vermont man confessing to murderhttp://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/articles/2008/07/10/accused_killers_confession_played_in_court/

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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