Clients Are Advised To Have Minimal Interaction With the Police When Stopped For A Concealed Carry Violation

Interviewer: Is there anything that a client forgot to tell you that they should tell you?

Jerald Novak: Yes.  Clients will often say that they didn’t say anything and the reality of it is they didn’t say anything to the police; the reality of it is that they usually have said way too much. Besides identifying yourself and providing your identification, your concealed carry license, you’re not really required to interact with the police officers.  Now, that’s a double edged sword, of course, because you certainly want to comply because you want them to let you go and so, as a result, if you’re uncooperative, it’s probably more likely than not that they will arrest you for some offense.

It is Important to be Cooperative and Pleasant when Dealing with the Police

The problem is there’s a right way to answer a question and there’s a wrong way to answer a question.  The wrong way is to get any kind of attitude and the wrong way is to invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent because when you get to court, the prosecutor is going to make it a big deal out of the fact that the only people that remain silent are people with something to hide.  So, it’s a bad influence and you want to stay away from that. So, I would be cooperative and pleasant but at the same time, once they go beyond your name and address and where’s you’re coming and where are you going and where you’re coming from, I probably very politely say, “I’m sorry, Sir.  I don’t wish to answer any further question”, “Am I free to leave?”, or “Am I under arrest?”  You’ll find out right away.  And “I would be happy to cooperate with you, Sir, after I’ve had an opportunity to talk with an attorney”.

It is Necessary Not to Be Aggressive when Dealing with the Police as the Prosecution Could Utilize it to their Benefit

I would not say I refuse to speak to you unless I talk to an attorney because again, a good prosecutor can make a big deal out of that in court.  So, you always want to be police and cooperative and have a great tone in your voice because a lot of times, I would say the vast majority of the times, the police officer will be wearing a body camera or will have a wireless microphone on his uniform and your whole interaction will either be audio recorded or video recorded. You’ve got to remember that the minute you have contact with that police officer, you should be thinking in the defensive mode meaning that you want to lay out a foundation for successfully defending your case because that audio or videotape will be played for the judge and/or jury.  So, you always want to come across as a good guy. So, again, in response to the question, yes, the clients always say they didn’t say again and then, we’ll get the video and we’ll find out that all sorts of things were said.

It is Highly Important to Secure an Attorney as Soon as You Get Your Concealed Carry Permit

Interviewer: Why is it important to secure an attorney?

Jerald Novak: It’s really important to secure an attorney, I mean very important.  As a matter of fact, the minute you get your concealed carry license and you decided you want to carry, that’s the point at which you should start interviewing attorneys and talking with them and getting an attorney’s contact information because once you’re arrested, they’re going to take you in custody and they’re going to take you to station, they’re going to throw you in a cell.  The best possible outcome you can expect at that point is that they’ll throw you a phonebook and say, “You got two calls”.

The Yellow Pages are Mostly Outdated and an Attorney that You Find on there Could Be Considered Dubious at Best

Here’s the problem.  Number 1, the yellow pages are dead.  So, if they throw yellow pages at you, it’s completely going to be an old one or it’s going to be some attorney who is not necessarily on the internet which may or may not dictate whether that attorney is any good or not.  That’s fact alone isn’t going to make the deciding different but you want to talk to somebody who is up on what’s going on with the law, up on the laws, that’s up on the court system, that’s up on the current defense, up on the case law. Often times, you can getter better resources by getting on internet and you can’t by flipping through the yellow pages and seeing who bought the biggest ad versus who bought the smallest ad. It’s very important to the talk with a qualified attorney, somebody who’s handled many of these cases before because they can go into court with an arsenal of case law and arsenal of experience and arsenal of arguments and often get you a much better outcome than some guy who clearly falls in the middle.

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