Court Battles

Court rules request for ‘lawyer dog’ too ‘ambiguous’

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The Louisiana Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal from a man who claimed he told police during an interview to “just give me a lawyer dog,” with a justice saying the request was “ambiguous.” 

Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Scott Crichton said he agreed with the court’s decision to deny the appeal, claiming the defendant had voluntarily agreed to be interviewed twice regarding his alleged sexual misconduct with minors. At both interviews, detectives reportedly advised the defendant of his Miranda rights, and the defendant stated he understood and waived those rights.

{mosads}The defendant, however, claimed he invoked his right to counsel in a second police interview when he said “if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog cause this is not what’s up.”

But Crichton noted in a concurring opinion the court has held that police are not required to stop an interview if a suspect makes a reference to an attorney that is “ambiguous or equivocal in that a reasonable police officer in light of the circumstances would have understood only that the suspect might be invoking his right to counsel.”

“In my view, the defendant’s ambiguous and equivocal reference to a ‘lawyer dog’ does not constitute an invocation of counsel that warrants termination of the interview,” he said.

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