Feb 222010
Authors: Rob Lowrey Staff Attorney Student Legal Services

It is often a good idea to answer, but it is never required. American citizens do not have to answer their doors any more than they have to answer their phones …

I have developed three rules for police encounters: be Smart, Be Nice, Be Quiet. In other words: think before you speak, be ultra-polite, and say as little as possible. Please tell your friends.

Be Smart

Do Not Lie. Think before you do or say anything. Give an officer attitude, and you may get more. Argue with an officer, they win. Invite them to lose their temper, they might just accept.
Remember that anything you say will be used against you. Think. Respectfully decline to answer questions. You are much better off saying as little as possible.
Be Nice*

Do Not Lie. If you are polite, things go much better. Don’t argue, don’t react and don’t complain.
Politely remain silent, and do not consent to any searches. If an officer asks you to do something, politely ask: “Do I have too?”

Be Quiet

Do Not Lie. You have the right to remain silent. Please use it. This powerful protection has existed for 220 years, and for good reason.

Albert Einstein once said, “if A equals success, then the formula is A = X Y Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keeping your mouth shut.”

Don’t be intimidated, keep your cool, and follow my three simple rules: be Smart, Be Nice and Be Quiet.

If the police call or visit asking to talk to you, or if you are charged with a crime, come immediately to Student Legal Services: 182 LSC. Bring your CSU ID to make an appointment.

 Posted by at 3:44 pm

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