|One button pushes a bunch of a defense attorney’s buttons|
Marty Katz, PoliceOne Contributor
“Dispatch, I am behind the vehicle... The driver is failing to stop... I’m 10-31 (chase).”
How many of you love being in this situation? I did. After a number of some wins and some losses in court, I discovered a way to assist in winning more of those cases. The moment I begin the chase, I immediately reset the odometer back to zero. The outcome has had a great impact on what happens next. I am able to provide clear details as to the length in miles of the chase, the ability to pinpoint how far into the chase events occurred such as items being thrown out of the suspect’s vehicle, and increase my creditability in court.
At my first deposition when I stated that at precisely 3.7 miles into the chase, the suspect threw a brown bag of smaller packaged marijuana baggies out the vehicle window, the defense attorney realized that putting me on the stand and demonstrating such clear-cut facts would not be in his client’s best interest.
In time, I found that others using this tip had similar experiences. Many of these cases ended with suspects either looking for deals or pleading guilty.
Your cases can be won at the deposition level. Our responsibility does not end with the arrest; it ends with either the suspect pleading guilty or being found guilty. Defense attorneys do not want to put very detailed and methodical officer on the stand in front of a jury.
It is just that simple. Push that little button and you’ll be pushing the defense attorney’s buttons later in depo or at trial.
Marty Katz is a retired sergeant with the Broward Sheriff’s Office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During his 34-year career, his assignments included field training officer, SWAT team member, undercover narcotics detective, academy instructor street crime suppression unit and supervisor of Recruitment, Criminal investigations and Patrol. Marty is a Florida Department of Law Enforcement certified instructor (Firearms, Defensive Tactics, Driving, First Responder, Ethics and Human Diversity), Expert Witness for Use of Force issues, a member of ILEETA, and past Florida Chapter Director for the International Association of Ethics Trainers In addition, Marty has trained in Japan with the Tokyo Metropolitan Riot Police and is a martial arts instructor.
Marty is owner and chief instructor of Crimewave Solutions, a training company for officer survival and common sense self defense. His first book, Past the Uniform, was published in 2008.