In criminal law, a suspect has the right to request a lawyer. Everyone who watches any of the CSI shows would know that. But, what happens when the request for lawyer is not clear? In Demesme v. State of Louisiana, the suspect was being interrogated. At some point, he said, “. . . so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog?” Or, did he say, ” . . . so why don’t you just give me a lawyer, dawg?” The Louisiana Supreme Court was confused. It found the request was ambiguous.
Mr. Demesme said, “If y’all, 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 defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence acquired after he made his request for a lawyer. He argued that any evidence obtained pursuant to this interrogation should not be used at trial. The Louisiana Supreme Court found that the defendant’s motion to suppress should be denied. The court explained that referring to a “lawyer dog” is not an unequivocal request for a lawyer. See ABA Bar Journal report.
Of course, the problem with that reasoning is that whether he said “give me a lawyer, dawg,” or he said “give me a lawyer dog,” he is still asking for a lawyer.