By:  Erica F. Blankenship

Comedian Tom Segura spoke about watching a show called “The First 48,” a documentary show which examines the first forty-eight hours of homicide investigations. Segura talked about how during police interrogations, so few people choose to have an attorney present (in a much funnier manner). Notably, Segura stated:

“Here’s what I’ve learned watching that show, okay? Lawyer up. You can’t handle that [crap]. Everybody is like, I’m going to talk to the cops and straighten this whole thing out. You’re going to do twenty-five to life. Have fun with that man. Nobody asks for a lawyer. I’ve seen three hundred people get interrogated on this show. Two of them were like, can I talk to a lawyer? And both times, the detectives were like, ‘[crap]!’ And then, at the end of those episodes, it said on the screen, all charges against [the defendant] were dropped!”

Now, most law enforcement officers are good people, individually. But their job is not to watch out for your interests. Their job is not to ensure that your rights are protected at all costs. Instead, an officer or investigator’s job is to close his or her case.

Officers are allowed to use many different techniques against you to reach their objectives. For example, in Kentucky – and, in fact, in most jurisdictions – they can lie to you about evidence against you. “[T]he mere employment of a ruse, or ‘strategic deception,’ does not render a confession involuntary so long as the ploy does not rise to the level of compulsion or coercion.” Springer v. Commonwealth, 998 S.W.2d 439, 447 (Ky. 1999) (quoting Illinois v. Perkins, 496 U.S. 292, 297 (1990)). “[A] misrepresentation by interrogators of the strength of their case against the suspect” is permissible, and a confession after such a misrepresentation by police can still be used against a defendant. Springer, 998 S.W.2d at 447 (citing Holland v. McGinnis, 963 F.2d 1044, 1051 (7th Cir. 1992)).

Unlike the interrogating officer, a lawyer representing you solely intends to protect your rights. His or her only focus is to protect your interests, watch out for you, and protect you. A lawyer with you when you have police contact ensures that you have someone who knows the same rules as the officer, looking out only for you.

In other words, the lesson for today is: “Lawyer up.”

* Please note that the views expressed by the comedian or other public figures cited herein are their own opinions and do not reflect the opinions of Ziegler & Schneider, P.S.C.

This Blog is not legal advice and is not intended to be legal advice.  Should you have any questions regarding the subject matter, please contact Erica F. Blankenship, Esq., at Ziegler & Schneider, P.S.C., (859) 426-1300, for additional information.


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