Interviewer: What are some of the unintentional mistakes that you see people make that make their case worse than it would have been?
Criminal Charges in Los Angeles Can Result from Seemingly Inconsequential Actions, Such as a Minor Traffic Infraction
William Kroger: Let’s say somebody is driving and the police pull them over. The officers will say, “Do you have anything illegal in your car?” They’ll say, “Yes, I have some marijuana, but I have a prescription for it.” If somebody is transporting some marijuana or some other drugs, they may get pulled over and they’ll have a suspended license that they forgot about or they’ll get into an accident and leave their car.
People face problems from actions that seem inconsequential, like a minor traffic infraction but those actions can have larger consequences when drugs are involved.
A Thoughtless Action on Your Part Can Result in Providing the Police with Probable Cause
With people that are involved in large-scale marijuana groves, it will be thoughtless things, such as they’ll forget to change the filters on the fans and the marijuana will just begin to smell. The neighbors will smell it and call the police. In fact, I’ve had the police actually drive by marijuana grove and smell it from outside because they forgot to use their ventilation system.
But this provides the police with probable cause to enter.
Talking to the Police: The Police Are Skilled at Asking Questions That Elicit Incriminating Answers
Interviewer: So it seems that people get careless. How about in terms of interacting with police? Do you find that people talk to them too much; they want to be helpful and tell them their story?
William Kroger: The police are very good at making you believe that they’re your friends—which they’re really not. They’re there to help and protect and serve, but when they see you as a criminal and breaking the law, it kind of flips a switch in their mind from you being an innocent person to somebody who’s guilty.
If the Police Suspect You Have Committed a Crime, Their Job Is to Solidify Their Case against You
Their job then becomes to do whatever they can do to solidify their case and make sure that when they present it to the District Attorney’s office, They’ll also make sure that there’s enough in their report that they can convict you. So, quite often, people talk too much to the police. Almost anytime you talk to the police you tend to say too much.