Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ithaca Lawyer How to Exert or Invoke Your Legal Rights

YOU want rights then YOU must INVOKE THEM

This may sound like a simple question but how does one exert or assert or invoke their constitutional rights with law enforcement?

Well first ways that are NOT effective or legal:

1. Telling them to f off
2. Telling them to just leave you alone
3. Not doing anything
4. Asking them legal questions and then "Expecting" them to tell you the truth about anything
5. Being silent for a long time (see case below)

The US Supreme Court case is Berghuis v Thompkins, 560 U.S. 370 (2010)

Thompkins was in custody for allegedly killing someone. He sat silent for THREE HOURS.

Never asked for an attorney

The police then appealed to him spiritually, and asked him three questions:

1. do you believe in G-d?  yes
2. do you pray to G-d? yes
3. do you pray to G-d to forgive you for shooting the victim? yes

The police got their admission to the crime.

This was used against him in Court. Thompkins was found guilty and sentenced to life without parole. The case was appealed to the US Supreme Court as a violation of his right to remain silent.

Thompkins argued he had NOT invoked or waived his rights and therefore this admission should not have come into evidence against him.


They (the police) will not leave you alone, they will not stop their games or requests or questions until,,,

Four words 

"I want a lawyer"or "I want an attorney"

Then and only then do they have to leave you alone unless you say more or cancel (waive) that request

Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.

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Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers