Lawyer refuses to answer questions during traffic stop, gets arrested


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/23/lawyer-refuses-to-answer-quest.html


#2

She may have gotten in minor trouble for not answering their questions, but those two cops got themselves in major trouble the moment they answered her question on camera.


#3

From the YouTube comments:

Valentin Garcia1 week ago
for those of you wanting an update. Their supervisor let her go and told her that his cops made a mistake and that they were rookies. having been on the force only since 2014. He than as a “favor” got her car out of impound for free. currently she has their dept. at federal court.


#4

Sleeve patches and stripes look like New Jersey State troopers.


#5

The co-ordinates on the video show it as Phillipsburg, NJ.


#6

Why are they arresting her within town limits? Don’t they have a local PD? Or is she traveling a state road?


#7

#8

*refuses to answer questions *
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:wink: I have no idea what the answers are, I just googled the co-ords.


#9

I bet she was probably released later only because the officer stupidly answered ‘yes’ to her question on camera out of annoyance. Oops! It’s 100% within her rights to not say anything but frankly it also shoots up a whole lot of red flags for the officers who are looking for reasonable suspicion of something before they even put on their lights. Depending on the state/jurisdiction/phase of the moon, overt avoidance of one of their observation metrics could generate actionable, reasonable suspicion of intoxication-- it’s not like they actually care whether you know why you were pulled over! They just want to check ‘is not slurring speech’ off their mental checklist when you answer.

From a Car & Driver quickie piece a few years back on traffic stop rights:
“1. Yes, you can remain silent during any roadside traffic stop.
2. The only reason for doing so is that the jogger you struck a block ago is still wedged in your grille and the pint of Smirnoff you’re holding in your hand has demolished your ability to count backward from 10.”


#10

Maybe this should become a widespread form of civil disobedience. #remainsilent


#11

I have to ask though…why did she not answer his initial question? I don’t really understand.

I’ve been pulled over, being asked “Do you know why I pulled you over” is common place. I’ve answered…“Honestly, I don’t have a clue. I didn’t run a red light or anything, and as far as I know I was driving within the speed limit.”

I wish I knew more as to why she was choosing to ignore him.


#12

Not sure where you heard that, but refusing to answer police questions never constitutes reasonable suspicion. It’s true that police can ask you to submit to an intoxication test under punishment of losing your license, but that does not require you to submit to questioning.


#13

This.

You don’t have to do a lot of things. That doesn’t mean it is smart not to do so. The correct answer to “Do you know why I pulled you over” is “No, I don’t.”, unless you really are wanting to escalate what appeared to be a routine traffic stop.

Lack of response might be legal, but it is also a very good sign of a number of things the officers have a right and duty to look into - intoxication being one, but it’s also a sign someone just had a stroke, or is under duress.

There is a tremendous difference between not volunteering information and refusing to speak. The first is reasonable - refusing to speak is just stupid.


#14

Why do you think it’s so common place? It is a clever way for the police to fish for a confession, or get you to volunteer information about why you might be suspicious.

She presumably ignored him because, as a lawyer, she understands that the police are not seeking a normal conversation. The whole conversation is actually a game in which “everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law”. The only winning move is not to play.


#15

Anything you say can and may be used against you. The context of your words may not be included when evidence is judged. The more words you^H^H^Hone emits, the greater the chance that they’ll be used as justification for search, suspicion, arrest or conviction. Everyone is guilty of something, a consequence of being a human alive in the world, a world of complicated and not-fully-knowable laws. Even if you’re not guilty of anything at a particular place and time, there are things that could seem guilty and be used to make you look guilty if presented as evidence. Staying silent is a prudent way to avoid the extra scrutiny that would bring to light those guilty or guilty-seeming things. Because she’s an attorney, I’m guessing she knows all this.

The police themselves would’ve been wise to heed this advice since they were being recorded too.


#16

thats not an acceptable rationale in my opinion.

I don’t want to assume every police officer is put to get me anymore than I want every cop to assume all citizens are criminals.

Enjoy your perspective. I do not see how that leads anywhere good for anyone.


#17

And I do not see how saying “no I do not officer” is something that can be used against me.


#18

Officer, I presume you know exactly why you pulled me over. Why are you asking me?


#19

Exactly. You would have thought, when they Mirandized her, it would have struck them, “Oh, wait, even someone who is arrested has a right to remain silent. Maybe we should re-think this whole thing.”

Then again, I didn’t notice them read her Miranda rights. Near the tail end, she tries to remind them of it, and they blow her off.


#20

At the end of the situation it did get her out of a traffic ticket and may get her additional compensation.