LEGAL FACT OR LEGAL FICTION
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A contract must be in writing.
No. An oral contract can be enforced unless there is a specific law (e.g. statute of frauds, Home Improvement Act) that requires that type of contract to be in writing to be enforceable.
It’s always best to cooperate with the police and tell them what they need to know.
It is best to not talk to the police until you have talked to your attorney.
Courts frequently hand out awards to plaintiffs in “frivolous” lawsuits, such as the man who put his RV on cruise control, then got up from the wheel and made a sandwich; or the burglar who sued the owner of the house he broke into for negligence when he got hurt; or the woman who sued a bar for slipping in the drink she threw at her boyfriend.
No. These are all classic stories used by “tort reform” advocates and insurance companies, often sent around in email forwards. One common email is the “Stella Awards,” named after the woman who famously sued McDonald’s for being burned by spilled coffee. The McDonald’s case was a good, legitimate case that was spun negatively in the media. The other cases cited above that are often circulated are not real. It is true that anyone can sue anyone else for any reason but it is hard to prevail.
The First Amendment allows you to say anything anywhere at any time.
No. The First Amendment is not absolute. Many types of speech are not protected speech, such as true threats and defamatory statements. Moreover, the First Amendment is only applicable to government actions. Private parties, such as condo associations and businesses can restrict members’ and guests’ speech provided it is not done in an illegally discriminatory manner.
You can beat a breathalyzer by putting pennies under your tongue or eating peanut butter before taking the test
There is no shortage of rumored tricks to mess up breathalyzers. They do not work. The way to avoid failing a breathalyzer is to not be legally drunk.
If the police ask to search me (or my home or car) and I refuse, they will think that I’m guilty.
This is probably true–the police likely will think you’re guilty. That is not a good reason to consent to a search. Here’s the deal: in this situation, the police already think you’re guilty. Do not consent to a search and make it easier for a court to actually find you guilty.
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Arrested persons have the right to one phone call
Not really. Arrested persons must be allowed to contact an attorney. While police tend to allow arrestees to call family or friends to help them bond out or to make other arrangements, there is no Constitutional right to this.
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