Weird News

Suspect’s Request for ‘Lawyer Dog’ Is Taken Literally
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

lawyer dog

Summary: The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that a suspect’s request for a “lawyer dog” during an interrogation did not mean he wanted a human lawyer.

Dog’s may be smart, able to learn several tricks like opening doors, ringing bells, bringing you the newspaper, and sniff out bombs but they aren’t to the level of being a lawyer. A Louisiana court felt differently when a suspect asked for a “lawyer dog.”

  
What
Where


A suspect was being interrogated by detectives when he said, “Just give me a lawyer dog.” The suspect was likely using the common slang where “dog” is added at the end of a statement like “See ya later dog.” However, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the suspect was, in fact, asking for a dog that was a lawyer, thus not invoking his constitutional right to counsel. Maybe lawyer dogs are a common thing in Louisiana and readily available to help out humans with legal issues.

The Louisiana high court ruling will have serious implications for the suspect, who is charged with raping a minor. Back in October 2015, Warren Demesme, then 22, had been brought in for the second time by the New Orleans Police Department regarding the accusation of two young girls that he raped them. Demesme repeatedly denied the crime, becoming frustrated and finally telling the police, “This is how I feel, 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.”

The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office provided the argument, which was accepted by Louisiana Associate Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton. The ruling allows the incriminating statements he made to be used as evidence in his trial, which is pending. The ruling clarified the issue that a request for a canine attorney was not a reason for police to stop questioning someone.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




Demesme made admissions to the crime after asking for the lawyer dog. He was charged with aggravated rape and indecent behavior with a juvenile. He has been held in the Orleans Parish jail until trial.

The public defender assigned to the case from the Orleans Parish, Derwyn D. Bunton, had filed a motion to suppress his statement. In the brief, Bunton wrote, “Under increased interrogation pressure, Mr. Demesme invokes his right to an attorney, stating with emotion and frustration, ‘Just give me a lawyer.’” The police continued questioning Demesme when he “unequivocally and unambiguously asserted his right to counsel.”



Assistant District Attorney Kyle Daly’s response to the brief was that the suspect’s “reference to a lawyer did not constitute an unambiguous invocation of his right to counsel, because the defendant communicated that whether he actually wanted a lawyer was dependent on the subjective beliefs of the officers. A reasonable officer under the circumstances would have understood as they did, that the defendant only might be invoking his right to counsel.”

The trial court and appeals court rejected Burton’s motion to have the statement thrown out. This left Burton with one last option – the state Supreme Court. While the court could have denied the appeals without providing a written ruling but Justice Crichton wrote a brief concurrence “to spotlight the very important constitutional issue regarding the invocation of counsel during a law enforcement interview.”

He noted that state case law says “if a suspect makes a reference to an attorney that is ambiguous or equivocal…the cessation of questioning is not required.” He added, “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.”

Do you think the ruling was reasonable? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about the Louisiana Supreme Court, read these articles:

Photo: flickr.com



 

Interesting Legal Sites You May Like


BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Litigation Trial Attorney with 3-5 years of pleading experience

USA-WA-Seattle

Seattle office of our client seeks litigation trial attorney with 3-5 years of experience. The candi...

Apply Now

Corporate Attorney with mergers and acquisitions experience

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Los Angeles office is seeking a corporate attorney with 1-6 years of M&A, corporate finance, securit...

Apply Now

Staff Attorney with 4-6 years of trademark and litigation experience

USA-PA-Philadelphia

Philadelphia office of our client seeks staff attorney ideally with 4-6 years of trademark prosecuti...

Apply Now

Patent Prosecution Associate

USA-IL-Chicago

Chicago office of our client seeks patent prosecution associate with experience. The candidate shoul...

Apply Now

RELEVANT JOBS

Corporate / Commercial Attorney | Lebanon, NH

USA-NH-Lebanon

Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC seeks an experienced corporate / commercial attorney to join its Lebanon o...

Apply now

Business Law Junior Associate | Burlington, VT

USA-VT-Burlington

Downs Rachlin Martin seeks associate attorney with 1-3 years of experience to join its Commercial an...

Apply now

Business Law Associate | Burlington

USA-VT-Burlington

Downs Rachlin Martin is seeking an attorney with 4 to 8 years of experience to join its very busy pr...

Apply now

Litigation Associate

USA-NY-New York City

Midtown Manhattan litigation boutique with diverse civil litigation practice seeking associate with ...

Apply now

Most Popular

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top