Top Ten Tips

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Top Ten Tips

Post  Chris on Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:45 pm

Top Ten Tips for dealing with the Criminal Justice System.

In no particular order, some food for thought and discussion.

1) Shut down and ignore the ego. Social Violence is not acceptable to the Criminal Justice System. Be self aware and understand when a conflict is truly unavoidable

2) Make sure your verbal interaction during the "interview" stage with any opposition is not aggressive and suitable for any witnesses you may have. i.e. I apologise if I've done something wrong. I don't want any trouble." Is infinitely better in a witness statement than," Come on then shitbrain, I'll kick ya teeth down ya throat."

3) Stay away from bad people in bad areas. If police are called to attend a scene they will not differentiate between tourists and locals when managing the problem. You will be handled in the same way as knacker ned who has a bad attitude and a list of antecedents as long as your arm.

4) If things become physical then make sure that any witnesses know your opponent is carrying a knife. i.e. "KNIFE KNIFE KNIFE KNIFE" loudly and clearly as you handle the problem.

5) If and when police officer do attend make sure that you are polite, calm, rational and relaxed. The officers will appreciate a reasonable attitude and will note your demeanour. Carry that mentality with you through all interaction.

6) Answer only those questions you are asked by any police officer. Be brief, to the point and truthful. Do not elaborate and do not fill the silence with chatter. In interview the police officers will be looking to show the presence of the elements of the crime not your innocence.

7) Know what you want to say before you say it and know exactly what you want to say before you make any statements at all. If you don't know what you want to say, say nothing at all.

Cool Be aware that the VAST majority of defendants that are seen by Judges are habitual offenders with a huge list of past arrests and convictions. This can leave the Judiciary jaded and cynical. It is refreshing to come across an articulate, polite, clean, humble and respectful defendant. The correct courtroom behaviour and appearance does matter.

9) Note that when it comes to violent offences tolerance is wearing thin un British courts and it is becoming easier to reach the custodial threshold. Judges will push sentences up the sentencing band if the injuries sustained by the opposition are "worse then could reasonable be expected in the circumstances" i.e. a black eye may be reasonable in a quick scuffle. Broken cheekbones and a smashednose may well be not. It is even more important that you act reasonably. As a side-note, kicking someone will be considered use of a weapon because you are wearing shoes.

10) Self defence is exactly that.. a defence. If you prove you were acting in self defence then you are not guilty of the offence. To be acting in self defence you must have a honestly held belief that you are about to be attacked (or indeed, that you were attacked) and your response must be reasonable in the face of the threat. If someone slaps you it is not reasonable to claim that stabbing them in the eye with a pen is self defence. On the other hand, should someone stab or cut you with a knife and they are also cut as you defend yourself you MAY be able to argue that action was reasonable in light of the threat posed.

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Re: Top Ten Tips

Post  Nick Hughes on Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:31 pm

Nice list...my only issue is with number two. Sometimes this can come across as weak to the aggressor and instigate the fight whereas the "Ill kick your teeth down your throat" can give them pause. (yes, I know, all relative Very Happy )

Nick
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Re: Top Ten Tips

Post  Chris on Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:03 am

Nick Hughes wrote:Nice list...my only issue is with number two. Sometimes this can come across as weak to the aggressor and instigate the fight whereas the "Ill kick your teeth down your throat" can give them pause. (yes, I know, all relative Very Happy )

Nick

I take your point Nick, agree totally. It's not so good when the witness statements are, "The guy in the dock said "I'll kick ya teeth down ya throat". " rather than "the guy in the dock said four or five times, "I don't want any trouble. I don't want to fight." Smile
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Re: Top Ten Tips

Post  Peter on Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:16 am

So the best thing to say is "I don't want any trouble but I will kick your teeth down your throat in defending myself from your unprovoked attack" Twisted Evil

Seriously, A question regarding not saying anything until you know what you want to say and how: In the post-event adrenalin dump, thinking clearly may not be your strong point (it certainly isn't mine!) so is it acceptable to state that you don't want to say anything until you have had time to compose yourself or is composing youself rapidly a skill which must be learned for these situations?
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Re: Top Ten Tips

Post  Zak on Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:17 am


Maybe an "I don't want any trouble" delivered with the firmness of an "I'll kick your teeth down your throat"?

Zak

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Re: Top Ten Tips

Post  Chris on Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:32 am

Zak wrote:
Maybe an "I don't want any trouble" delivered with the firmness of an "I'll kick your teeth down your throat"?

Zak

Very Happy

yep, bear in mind that many statements will be read. The ones that aren't read will be relayed at a different time and pace without the same emotional content so the words you use rather than how you say things is paramount.

Pete,

In answer to your question about composure. It's not something that should be too difficult provided you're a rational human being. Police officers don't tend to be around for a while and if they are around at the time of the conflict then why are you flying off the handle anyway. Wink If you feel you need time to gather your thoughts then my personal advice is don't make excuses and don't try to plead your case either at the scene or at the station. As I mention the officers at interview are looking to draw out the elements of the crime within the statement rather than prove your innocence. As a result, at the scene say nothing about the event. At the station repeat the fear of attack or the fact that you were attacked and how your response was reasonable in the face of that threat or attack.
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Re: Top Ten Tips

Post  Wayne Harrison on Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:04 am

Excellent advice. Point 6 made me chuckle.

warmest wishes

Wayne
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Re: Top Ten Tips

Post  Chris on Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:41 pm

Yeah, point six can come as a surprise to people. Very Happy
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