By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
You have to remember how many police officers think.
Police often think they are the noble ones on high. They are on “Team Good Guys.” They protect victims from crime. They are the ones who bravely run into dangerous situations when everyone runs out. They stand for truth, justice and the American way. And many of them sincerely and honestly do.
And many believe in – and completely respect your rights. As long as they get to win in the end.
What I’m trying to say is Police and to a lesser degree prosecutors and to an even lesser degree Judges can’t turn off their human mind. They all gravitate to what they believe the equitable or fair outcome should be in every case and they think the law should be written in a way to support THAT outcome.
Naturally, because police never consider themselves in the wrong when they make an arrest, many think the law supports (or should support) the result.
Also, to be fair to police, its not an officer’s job be the legal experts. They are trained in what they need to know to keep the streets crime free and come home from their shift safely. I’ve seen many cases where the police misunderstanding of the law actually helps my clients. Police will let someone go or charge someone with a lesser crime because they’re afraid of over-stepping someone’s rights… even if they’re wrong about what those rights are.
But the bottom line is many officers view your rights as speed bumps when they think you’re guilty of something. They re-write the laws in their own head to fit it into why another person’s right are inconsequential or haven’t been violated.
In other words, they rationalize. They’re people just like the rest of us!
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about this or any other situation you should contact an attorney directly.