When it comes to rights, Marc Victor has the answers. The defense attorney spoke to students Tuesday evening on the Tempe campus, informing them of their rights when dealing with police officers.
The event, a collaboration between ASU Students for Liberty and the ASU chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, took place in the Education Lecture Hall.
Victor said that police officers can take advantage of people's lack of knowledge of the law. Being aware of your basic rights can be the difference between a conviction and an acquittal, he said.
"It's always good to be educated, so you know what your rights are," Victor said.
Philosophy sophomore Joshua Horn, director of Students for Liberty, said students have a habit of getting arrested frequently.
"Students — young people in general — have a way of performing activities that can be considered 'high risk' from a legal standpoint," Horn said.
He said it is important for young people to know their constitutional rights and what they do and do not have to surrender to the police in certain situations.
Finance senior Alex Falkenstein, west coast director of Students for Liberty, said many students are testing their boundaries with their first tastes of freedom.
"Students, especially college age, they're embracing adult responsibilities for the first time," Falkenstein said. "They need to be respected just like any other kind of adult when dealing with the police."
Victor said people should know that they are not required to talk to the police, nor are they required to consent to a search.
“The officer is always going to ask. They want to search everything, all the time,” Victor told the students. “It’s never going to happen where they say ‘Can I search?’ and you say ‘Yeah, you can search,’ then he goes ‘Well, he doesn’t have anything to hide, I’m not going to search.’ It doesn’t happen.”
Victor said he could be accurately described as a radical, pro-freedom Libertarian "with a small 'L,'" and has defended clients in criminal cases since 1994.
"I very strongly believe that people are self-owning," Victor said. "Everything I believe sort of politically or philosophically would line up with that."
Victor wrote an article titled “Legalize Methamphetamine!” which he admitted was intended to shock people, but argues the case for many illegal drugs.
“I very strongly support the rights of other people to use, or abuse, their own body in anyway they see fit,” Victor said.
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