I have a friend (yes, he really is a friend and not I) who was caught in his car with a SW
How to stay safe when picking up a streetwalker!
I have a friend (yes, he really is a friend and not I) who was caught in his car with a SW by LE. It caused me to wonder what might happen if I were in similar circumstances and what I should do. . .
My friend cringed as this was tantamount to admitting she was having sex for money...was it not? Would a better strategy have been to say something like they had met at a restaurant (agree which one it was beforehand?), hit it off and were just having some fun? (Still public lewdness or some damn thing if they want to press it?) Maybe agreeing in advance on a story to tell in the event you are surprised by LE is a good plan? . . .
A few questions come to mind:
1. What are some good strategies to plan in advance with a SW to be prepared for this type of situation?
2. Does one have complicit criminal responsibility if the SW has outstanding warrants or has drugs on her person? Suppose she stashes them in your vehicle quickly (and stupidly)?
3. When a SW blabs her head off like that and virtually admits you were having sex for money, what should one do if questioned: disagree? lie? tell the truth and hope for leniency? invoke your right to silence and perhaps piss them off enough to arrest you?
4. IF you both have a story in advance that you are 2 people who met and hit it off and were just having fun, and you stick to the story (which the police probably won't believe anyway), do you risk pissing them off and having them arrest you on some other charge? What charges might those be? (public lewdness or indecency?)
5. I suppose invoking your rights to be silent and not allowing voluntary search are good starts but does one risk pushing the police not to be lenient and just let you go if your record is clean?
6. How much leeway does LE generally exercise in this type of circumstance when your paperwork is in order and you have a squeaky clean record. Is my friend's experience typical or does it really depend on the officers involved and/or where it takes place?
7. Do the police keep a record of the incident and can they use it against my friend on a future occasion to be much less lenient?
SO, here is the 411 I came up with:
Any story cooked up in advance would have to be nearly perfect. The obvious reason for separation is to make sure you cannot make up a story before questioning or finese a previously agreed-upon story. A correct answer to one question leads to another question until there is a conflict in stories. Moreover, cops can lie so even with a perfect story it is very likely you will be told the other person said something different - and vice versa.
1. About the only strategy one can hope for in advance is to agree that both will say when asked any question is to say, "I respectfully request an attorney be present before I answer any questions." And agree to keep saying it no matter how much one is intimidated. Problem is, you cannot depend on the other person to keep the promise nor can you depend on the other person not to make a deal at your expense.
2. It is always a risk with SWs when they get into your car. They may already be high, they may have a stash with them, they may even have a weapon. It's a risk you take whenever a stranger enters your home or car. Most states have a provision that they can confiscate your vehicle if there are drugs found in the car. If the SW has warrants it is unlikely you have complicity in any thing she may have done but you risk losing your property if she hides a stash under your seat or in the car door pocket if told to get out of the car.
3. If the SW "blabs" you should already have said you respectfully decline to answer any questions without a lawyer present. And stick to it! A lawyer is going to be the only person on your side in these instances and, even if he or she cannot get you off, he or she is the only person who can negotiate a deal such as a reduced charge without going to court.
4. The story is not a good idea. It's too easy to get caught in a lie and you cannot trust the other person to stick to it, or to not embellish it. Nor can you trust the police not to lie to you or to her. In any event, your charge will probably be soliciting a prostitute or some similar language, depending on the state's statutes.
5. It probably pisses off cops any time a person invokes. However, it is a right that is far too often not used and in many instances ends up in self-incrimination. Understand that the right to remain silent does not require that you be totally innocent, it only requires that you make it clear you will not incriminate yourself. If you waive this right, you very likely end up doing the work for the cops. If you do not waive it, then the cops have to work harder to find enough evidence to get a conviction in court if it does go to court.
6. Your friend was lucky. He may have been stopped by a cop who wasn't committed to racking up the violations, who wasn't aggressive unless someone was being aggressive with him (verbal or physical), and was in a good mood when your freind was stopped. Cops can exercise their judgement in any way they want to but even when they say they want to help you or if you just tell them the truth they will let you go, the chances are you WILL be cited for something, if you help them out by incriminating yourself.
7. Beat cops usually have good recall. Inasmuch as your friend did not receive a citation or a conviction, there isn't a record so if he fails to signal a turn in the next town, or is stopped by another cop for some reason, chances are he won't have a problem because of this situation. However, if he is found by the same cop in a questionable neighborhood or in a questionable situation then it is very likely the cop will remember him. They are taught to observe and many have uncanny memories of cars, places and faces.
Bottom line is if you are engaging with SWs you need to be aware of the risks you are taking and be willing to accept the consequences if caught. Making it easy for the cops or trusting the SW is not in your best interests.