Lesson 4 from Parker County Roadrunner and his Criminal Defense Attorney: Getting Caught in Your Own
Today we feature a friend of PC, welcome Mr. Coyote. You all remember Coyote. He is known chasing PC. With all of Coyote’s schemes and tricks, he usually ends up tangled up in his own trap. This is true not just in the cartoons; it is often true of a person who is being detained by police, being arrested, or facing prosecution.
The most common trap Mr. Coyote falls into is he thinks he is smarter than everyone else. He wants to talk. Mr. Coyote has the right to remain silent; he lacks the capacity. He wants to talk to the police. He wants to talk to the detective. He talks and talks. Then he comes to see a defense attorney. First thing out of my mouth is, “Do not discuss your case with anyone.”
You do not want to be the Coyote. Do not fall into the trap. Shut your trap. Ironically, if you are being questioned by police, you have to actually say, “I do not want to answer any questions,” or “I want to invoke my right to remain silent.” Just being quiet means the police can keep asking questions. Sometimes they will continue for extended periods of time, until you start to talk. Speak up and tell the police, “I do not want to talk to you without my attorney.” Then shut your trap.
Second, the Coyote is proud of his accomplishments. He likes to put everything on social media. The police like Coyote’s posts as well. Literally, I have seen Mr. Coyote say while being questioned regarding a shooting (notice he already fell into the first trap of actually talking to the police without his attorney), “I don’t like guns. I’ve never owned a gun.” Pictures from his Facebook show him holding various pistols while smiling at the camera. Your social media is fair game for the police to use against you.
I read various blogs and articles where law enforcement literally found the crime by simply trolling Facebook. See my blog from April 17: Parties, Alcohol, and Minors for a prime example of where the party was busted simply because people posted information about the party on Facebook.
Third, Coyote likes to give consent. He consents to everything requested by a police officer. Coyote was raised by a family that told him, “You do not argue with the police. You respect law enforcement.” I agree. It is import to respect law enforcement.
When you give consent, you have given up your rights and if you are charged with a crime there is less material with which your criminal defense attorney can use to possibly win your case. If the officer wants a sample of your blood, politely say, “I do not consent to give you a sample of my blood.” If the officer wants to search your car, you should say, “I do not give you consent to search my vehicle.” It is the job of the police to get a warrant if there is probable cause. Your right to ask for a warrant is protected by the U.S. Constitution. Be a proud American, salute the flag, enjoy a hot dog at a baseball game, and ask the cops to get a warrant.
Poor Coyote gave consent to an officer to search his vehicle. He thought they would never look under the hood of the car. Coyote was known for being associated with drug dealers. He knew better than to just have drugs sitting in the backseat. Sure enough, the officer emptied the glove box, the center console, looked under the seats, even looked in the truck, and the office popped the hood. There as big as day, taped to the top of the air filter, was a bag of marijuana.
Coyote has made some dumb mistakes. He could have avoided some of them by listening to the advice of his attorney. Most of Coyote’s mistakes could have been avoided by not engaging in criminal activity. If you ever need help, call Andrew Decker at 817-441-1629. I’m a criminal defense attorney.