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Transcript

Speaker 1
00;00;00;01 – 00;00;01;12
Hi, everyone. I get asked all the time, ‘Do law enforcement officers have quotas they have to meet?’ This is Christina Williams, with Just Criminal Law.
Speaker 2
00;00;11;02 – 00;00;12;06
And David Mann, legal storytelling specialist. Okay, yeah. I’ve always wondered that. I think everybody has and we sort of assume that they do have quotas. So is it true or not?
Speaker 2
00;00;20;28 – 00;00;21;12
Well, you know, when you’re going through that part of your town or there’s a speed trap and, all of a sudden you see, multiple times a day, law enforcement hanging out in that area, you start to wonder. I don’t believe they have formal quotas now. They might have competitions inside their agency when they’re saying ‘Who can get the most tickets written in a month?’ And if it’s the end of the month and you see a lot of police cars out and about, but there really isn’t a formal quota, so to speak.
Speaker 2
00;00;58;15 – 00;00;59;15
Okay. So they might get something back in terms of status and points with their buddies. But it’s not a formal thing. Nonetheless, it feels like sometimes there’s a whole bunch of arrests that happen all at once. And so I’m thinking of when most of us have been stopped, like in those speed traps there, and the police officer walks up to the windshield and you’re stuck with that situation. We’ve talked about it a million times. What should you do?
Speaker 1
00;01;26;29 – 00;01;30;02
Right. The officer is going to most likely going to ask you a question. ‘Do you know why I pulled you over?’ And my go-to in this situation is no different than any other investigation. You need to just not answer the question. It’s very tempting to say, ‘Oh, was I speeding?’ The right answer in that is to say, ‘No, I don’t know why you pulled me over.’ I mean, you might be speculating, but you don’t know why the officer pulled you over. So say that.
Speaker 2
00;02;01;22 – 00;02;02;29
Because it’s almost like they’re asking you, as if it’s a quiz or something you’re going to win if you get it right. Or, probably on some level, you think you’re going to get out of it. You’re going to apologize and it’s all going to be better. But, in fact, are they sort of trapping you in a way into admitting something?
Speaker 1
00;02;22;17 – 00;02;24;06
Exactly. Every single time an officer comes into contact with you and there’s the potential for a defense attorney to look at it, we can question the reason for the stop. Now, on a simple speeding thing, you’re going to think,’ Okay, well, he had his radar going.’ That’s not always the truth. Sometimes they don’t clock you and they just paced you. That is, they estimated that you were ten miles an hour over and all of a sudden, you’re admitting to it and they don’t have to prove anything, because you just allowed them to check that part of their investigation off. And then, I can’t do anything to help you because you just incriminated yourself.
Speaker 2
00;03;05;24 – 00;03;07;08
And you’ve seen this escalate into worst arrests that no one really expected, is that right?
Speaker 1
00;03;11;27 – 00;03;15;05
Right. So a lot of the cases where somebody is criminally charged and they’re in a car, start out with a simple speed violation or alleged speed violation and then, you know, the next thing they know, the person is being arrested. Maybe they’re in possession of marijuana or the officer thinks they’re too intoxicated to safely drive. So yes, a lot of criminal charges start with an alleged speeding violation.
Speaker 2
00;03;45;00 – 00;03;45;14
Okay. So the advice remains, just don’t say anything. Don’t engage in the conversation and don’t ask, or answer the question ‘Do you know why I pulled you over.’
Speaker 1
00;03;54;05 – 00;03;57;28
Right. And you know, that question is so loaded, that states are now starting to make it illegal for law enforcement to ask you that question. Rather, they’re requiring law enforcement, when they come into contact with you, to tell YOU why they pulled you over. States are recognizing that, if you’re questioning someone and it leads to their arrest, you’re required to Mirandize them first, or remind them of their right to remain silent. So they’ve actually made it the law; law enforcement must tell you the reason they stopped you.
Speaker 2
00;04;36;16 – 00;04;38;01
That makes complete sense. And so, of course, people make a mistake and incriminate themselves and get into trouble, which is when they’re going to need you. So how might they do that?
Speaker 1
00;04;46;18 – 00;04;48;13
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