First, non-Whites have no Constitutional rights. You
do have Constitutional protection which means that you have been granted the privilege of the U.S. Constitution through its
amendments. A privilege that can be taken away, suspended, or amendment-ed at any given time. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privilege )
The American legal system is one full of many contradictions, which are
confusing to the majority of the population. Here are some insights on some of the most common mistakes made by the
majority of us who lack a degree or a knowledge of the law.
It is important to understand that laws are necessary for any community,
for they are used as prescribed norms of behavior and used as a method of control. Consequently, everyone should know
at least the basics of criminal law and infractions.
I do not doubt that you will never commit a crime and that therefore will
never be stopped by a police officer. And I believe you. For I, too, at one time shared the same views.
Know, however, that we live in an imperfect legal world that has a two percent wrongful conviction rate and rising.
This is the main reason why we have appeal courts, DNA exonerations, and the biggest prison population in the world.
I do not doubt, too, that some police officers are good and honorable
people. Or that many District Attorneys do not lie and hide evidence and do all sort of dirty tricks to have a conviction.
(see, Rampart Scandal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rampart_Scandal, and disbarred North Carolina attorney Michael Byron Nifong, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Nifong ). Believe me, then, when I tell you that there are many miscarriages of justice in the
U.S. --- Injustices that go ignored due to the lack of sympathy for individuals who are believed to be guilty (the majority
of them poor). But what wins legal cases?
Money is not what wins criminal cases (it helps to have money, though).
Evidence or lack of evidence, too, will not get you out of jail (even though one will prefer that there is no evidence against
you). What, then, wins legal cases? An attorney knowledgeable in the type of crime
you are charged with and an attorney who is willing to fight for you. This is what wins legal cases. If you broke
your leg, you will not seek the help from a dentist, will you?
Now, in order for a law enforcement officer to legally stop you or arrest
you, they must have a probable cause. The U.S. Supreme Court defines probable cause as: the standard to which a grand jury believes that a crime has been committed, a crime is taking place, or a crime is about to
take place. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probable_cause )
There are many times when the police make illegal stops, searches, seizures
and arrests. In many cases Racial Profiling is the reason for being stopped, which equals harrassment. The police get
away with harrassing minorites because not enough complaints are being filed with Internal affairs (law enforcement) ... for
police misconduct. Minorities in the United States tend to ignore police misconduct for fear of some type of retaliation.
Things to remember when stopped by the police:
1). Ask for the purpose of such a stop
2). Ask if it is a Terry Stop or Frisking
3). Ask if it is a warrantless search
4). Never give consent to a search of your pockets or any bags in
5). Be sure to remember the officer´s name.
6). Do not get smart with the police (give respect and you shall
be given respect).
Things to remember when arrested:
1). Never talk to the police about anything
2). Remember that any statement you make will definately be used
against you at a court of law
3). (In the State of California) you must be arraigned within 48 hours
which means the second day of arrest (excluding weekends and holidays).
4). Speak with an attorney as soon as possible
5). Hire an attorney that has lots of experience and-or lots of
successful wins in the type of crime that you are being charged with.