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post #1677 of Old 02-17-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
So of a policeman arrests you and you ask for a lawayer and refuse to answer his questions that is a tacit admission of guilt or did things which are at least accusable?
Dave, I disagree with the premise of your question. If you are already arrested by the police, then it's pretty clear that they think you've committed an act that is prosecutable. But that's not the situation here with the crew members. None of them appears to have committed a crime.

My suggestion was to avoid unnecessarily "upping the ante" by taking the 5th when subpoenaed for a fact-finding investigation in which you are not the target. Taking the 5th is anyone's right, but it also raises suspicion of having committed an act that could be prosecutable and makes you an even bigger target for civil litigation, termination by your employer, etc. As I said, the Constitution protects you against certain things when you take the 5th, but there are a whole lot of other things (such as termination from employment) that it does not protect you against. And many people do not realize the full consequences of taking the 5th.

The premise of your question was that a person has already been arrested by the police, so that threshhold has already been exceeded. If you've been arrested by the police, you're already in big legal trouble (obviously they think you've committed a prosecutable act) and you should absolutely not answer a single question until you have a lawyer present.

Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
...I dont know about you but I have taught my daughter to be very careful about answering questions posed by the police even if they tell her by her not doing that it makes her look guilty...
I share your skepticism of police, but the fact that you told her to "be very careful" and not to always "take the 5th" is evidence that you are agreeing with my statement, not disagreeing.

Caution is certainly advised whenever dealing with the police. I know of too many cases where they made up exaggerated stories to support their case, planted evidence, and entrapped people. I had a good friend who was about the only one in his family who was not a NJ State Trooper, and he told me that they all racially profile, pull people over without just cause, etc. I myself was pulled over by a local Ridley Township cop who accused me of planning to make an illegal U-turn at a traffic light 1/4 mile down the road. It's a long story, it was an intersection where a whole bunch of cars make illegal U-turns and they had a "sting" that day. I guarantee you that if I "took the 5th" I would have gotten my ass hauled off to the judge. Instead I pointed out that I was headed home from work and the address shown on my drivers license proved that I would be making a left turn at the light, and I had no reason to make a U-turn there. (By the way, that very cop was fired and prosecuted a year later for beating up a Wawa cashier in her own store. Her crime? Asking for ID to purchase tobacco, as required by state law.)

Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
...Now that doesnt go to say in the eyes of public opinion that people wont thing they way you said. They will no matter what he says, thats why he says nothing. He has nothing to gain and everything to lose. Youd do the same in a similar situation as would I.
No, I think he took the 5th because he was (in my opinion) running a passenger-carrying vessel that was merely credentialed as a dockside attraction. The apparent evidence that he was planning to start carrying disabled kids in Florida raises the stakes even more.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
USCG Certified Captain, 50 Ton Master and OUPV
ASA Certified 101/103/104/105/106

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