Sunday, March 18, 2007


What should you do when a suspect who waived his Miranda rights says he might want a lawyer? This is the question that the US Supreme Court recently ruled on.


A fairly common scenario, you obtain a valid Miranda waiver from a suspect in custody and begin interrogation. Part way through your questioning, the suspect begins to feel uneasy about going forward and says something about remaining silent or talking to a lawyer. What then? Must you stop interrogating? Do you need to clarify his wishes, or can you keep talking? The US Supreme Court gave the answers in Davis v. U.S. The Supreme Court acknowledged its earlier ruling in Edwards v. Arizona that a statement obtained through police custodial interrogation will not be admitted to prove guilt at trial if it resulted from questioning that continued after the suspect's request for an attorney. But where it is not necessarily clear that a suspect who has already waived his rights is asking for an attorney, the court declined to place burden of resolving the ambiguity on the police. If a suspect makes a reference to an attorney that is ambiguous or equivocal in that a reasonable officer in light of the circumstances would have understood only that the suspect might be invoking the right to counsel, our precedents do not require the cessation of questioning. Rather, the suspect must unambiguously request counsel. He must articulate his desire to have counsel present sufficiently clearly that a reasonable police officer in the circumstances would understand the statement to be a request for an attorney. Finding that the statement, "Maybe I should talk to a lawyer," was not an unequivocal, unambiguous invocation of the right to counsel, the court upheld the admission of Davis's statements and unanimously affirmed his conviction and sentence. The five-member majority held that it is not necessary for officers to stop an interrogation when the suspect makes an ambiguous reference to invoking his rights.
There are no magic words that a suspect has to use to constitute a clear and unambiguous invocation of Miranda. Certainly a statement such as "No more questions", or "I want a lawyer" are unambiguous. Wishy-washy qualifications such as "I think" or "Maybe I should" would normally be ambiguous enough to come within the Davis rule that there is no need to clarify the suspect's wishes and no need to stop questioning. It is further noted that the Davis ruling only applies where the suspect initially gave a clear, unambiguous waiver when given his Miranda rights. Once he has waived, the burden shifts to him to clearly, unambiguously assert his rights if he wants questioning to cease. For example, if the suspect responds to the Miranda admonishment by saying something like, "I think maybe I should get a lawyer," you should not proceed without clarifying whether or not you have an invocation of counsel. It's only after a clear waiver has been obtained that the Davis rule kicks in. NOTE: Not all states follow the US Supreme Court rulings on exclusionary issues. States are free to interpret their own constitutions as providing greater protection to criminals than the US Constitution provides. Where do you suppose Florida falls?
A Detective, The Police, no finer calling is there.

Work should be fun. Yes, work should be fun. When you are doing exactly what you want to do, then you are successful, and happy. Be safe and remember, work should be fun!

Here are some excerpts from actual police reports;

They were all conversating.
We conversated telephonically.
They were living domesticatarly.
They're habitating.
Seeking the location of his whereabouts.
He was of Jamaican assessment.
Seeking to identify his identification.
Identified a pattern of unrelated crimes.
He was wearing a multi-colored white t-shirt.
He is known to congregate by himself.
The eyewitness is blind and didn't see anything.
They went into a feet pursuit.
He has numerical arrests on his rap sheet.
The bus driver was working off duty at the time.
The information was received from an anonymous CI.
His sister states she was not related to her brother.
The suspicious package was examined and determined to be not suspicious.
The unarmed security guard fired 2 shots at the perp.
All the calls that day happened another day.

Report writing 101?...

There are a multitude of associations and organizations for investigators in the private sector. Some organized by specialty, others by geographic area. Here is a listing of some of the more unusual:

The European Council of Detectives. You can check their web site at:

The Professional Investigators and Security Association based in Charlottesville, VA, they can be found at:

National Defender Investigator Association.

National Association of Legal Investigators. This association represents private investigators who conduct work for the defense. They also have a national accreditation program.

The Council of International Investigators, headquartered in Singapore.

World Association of Detectives. This international group hosts an annual convention that brings detectives from all over the world. They claim to be the largest and oldest association of its kind in the world.
Computer Program For The Investigator

The search engine Google has a free feature available that can be very helpful. It's called "Desktop", and can be accessed from Google's main search page. One of the functions of this program is it index's your hard drive. Once installed, the program stores and arranges emails, files and web history on your machine. This process occurs once during a period when your computer is idle for more than 30 seconds. As you continue to receive emails, this feature automatically adds them along with any updates to your files and web browsing history. This would allow you to quickly find emails, and view previously visited websites. Google Desktop creates cached copies (snapshots) of your files and other items each time you view them, and stores these copies on your computer’s hard drive. As a result, you can often use Desktop to find items you accidently deleted, instead of having to recreate them from scratch.

Desktop is also a great tool for parents who want to monitor their child's internet use. The program runs virtually undetected except for a small icon in the system tray (the bottom right corner of your screen where programs that are running show small symbols). There are also alot of other features to this free program. To find out more about about it, go to Google's main page and right above the searchbox in the middle of the page click on "more". That will open a small side menu that says "even more". Click on that and you arrive at all sorts of "extras" within Google. Find the icon of a small multi-colored swirl and that is "Desktop". Once there, click on "Features" and you will be taken to a full explainantion of what this little program does. Happy hunting!

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Top Ten Signs You Have The Wrong Lawyer

1. Instead of “Objection!” he keeps yelling, “Bingo!”

2. She keeps asking you things like, “Would it kill you to say you did it?”

3. Your legal team is suing each other because someone ate the last bagel.

4. The only motion he’s made has been rubbing his crotch.

5. He giggles uncontrollably every time anyone says the word “briefs.”

6. He’s incredulous that he lost the case and says, “Well, it worked on Judge Judy!”

7. Instead of “Your Honor,” your attorney addresses the judge as “Player.”

8. She’s drinking rum and cokes for breakfast in the parking lot.

9. Half of his previous clients have tried to kill him.

10. His law degree is from the University of Baghdad.

Reprinted from APB

Document Scanner that Fits in a Pocket:

DocuPen is a handheld color scanner, no bigger than a pen that can fit in your pocket, that helps you scan documents for retrieval later on. Docupen offers a 24-bit color scanning device that is just 8-inches long and less than 1-inch wide, can be easily carried in your pocket, and is USB interfaced in a very simple manner that can download scanned documents to your computer. Few buttons to worry about, and the scanning is simple to accomplish. A slow pass across the page with the “pen” will save the document to the scanner. When you get back to your computer, simply plug it into the USB port. The document is scanned into your computer. The pen can hold about 100 pages in its internal memory. In addition to the color devices, there is also a black-and-white only device available. The manufacturers web site can be found at: The color version runs for around $300; the B&W one for considerably less, at around $100. It may be a convenience you find worth having.

Homicide: The killing / death of a human being by another human being.

Murder: Unlawful homicide.

Practically speaking, all “murder’s” are “Homicides”, but NOT all homicides are murders. For example, death caused by another under legal means – justifiable homicide – is still a homicide, but is not an “unlawful” homicide – NOT a murder. A Police Officer shoots and kills another during the proper performance of police duties; “Justifiable” Homicide is ruled; the incident is still a “Homicide” – but NOT a murder.

Did you know that 92% of police injuries are caused by edged weapons?

The most common weapon used to inflict these injuries is a screwdriver.

The minimum safe distance from an assailant wielding an edged weapon is 21 feet.