Have You Had That Phonecall?

This morning, while consuming copious amounts of caffeine, I remembered an incident explained to me by one of my junior defense counsel. He had a client who was having a lot of problems overall in her life. The disposition of her criminal proceedings was relatively low (but stressful), and he secured a decent result. A couple of weeks after her case was adjudicated, he received a phonecall. Afterward, he rushed to my office to recount what happened and ask for advice. He explained the conversation line-by-line.

Defense Counsel: Hello.

Client: Yes, Captain ____, this is ______. I need your help.

DC: Sure, what’s up.

C: (voice becoming panicked) I’m in my car, and the police just stopped me, and I don’t know what to do.

DC: OK, well, just stay calm and listen to what they say and…

Background Voice: Ma’am, you need to put down the phone and step out of the car.

C: I have my lawyer on the phone! You can wait! Captain ____, I there are more police cars, and there are like 8 cops around my car…

BV: Ma’am, put down the phone and step out of the car, or else I’ll have to…

C: (Yelling) You can’t tell me to…..I have rights……I have my lawyer right…….

DC: (Trying to calm her) Look, just calm down, nothing is going to…


Now Multiple Background Voices: (Yelling) Ma’am, you need to put the phone down. Get out! Get the fuck out!


There wasn’t much we could do. We didn’t even know if she was apprehended in a jurisdiction where we could practice. Heck, we didn’t even know what jurisdiction, period. We were in Missouri, and she was stationed near Pensacola, Florida. He tried to call her phone for a few weeks. It always went to voicemail.

We never heard back from her. It makes you wonder…


3 thoughts on “Have You Had That Phonecall?

  1. She probably should have told them she was bringing the entire weight of the United States Army Trial Defense Service and not just her “lawyer.”

    • Whoa. That would have packed one heckuva wallop. She was obviously holding back out of consideration for the LEOs and their families.

  2. Actually, I don’t understand why she simply couldn’t talk to the police. They might have just wanted to check her car or something. And she turned a molehill into a mountain. Somehow strange to me because if she’d already had some problems with th e police, why add even more fuel to the flame???

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