Requesting a Lawyer Dog Is Not Enough to Invoke Right to Counsel

In a 6-1 vote, the Louisiana Supreme Court recently denied Appellant’s writ application regarding his constitutional right to counsel. Appellant argued that his right to counsel was violated when the police did not cease questioning after he stated “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.” According to Honorable Scott J. Chrichton’s concurring opinion, Appellant’s request for a “lawyer dog” was too ambiguous to constitute an invocation of his right to counsel. Appellant’s statement was considered ambiguous as to whether he was requesting a “lawyer” or a “lawyer dog” and would cause a reasonable police officer to believe that Appellant may not have been invoking his right to counsel. As such, the Court ruled that Appellant’s rights were not violated as requesting a “lawyer dog” was not sufficient enough to invoke right to counsel and terminate police questioning.

State v. Demesme

Melissa A. Miller
Mmiller@mblb.com