Do you understand?

One of the most loaded  phrases in the legal language subtly used by police.

‘Understand’ as defined by blacks law dictionary means ‘to agree’.

If you use the phrase ‘reach an understanding’ you can see where this mixed meaning originated.

So when the police say this they are wanting you to agree to their assessment of the situation and your culpability in it.
They are trying to get you to agree to a contract with them, it’s a trap.

Do you understand?

So when faced with this question how do you respond?

Some great answers:


I don’t understand.

I’ll never understand you.

I can hear what you are saying, but….

I comprehend what you are saying, but I disagree.

Every time you hear this phrase you should see it as a red flag. Practice identifying it in everyday life.

Sometimes police will be lurking around protests looking bored, look for one that is a constable or other rank below sergeant or leading senior constable and start a general friendly chat, the weather, football etc.

Throw in a “Do you understand?” into the conversation and see if they trip up or give you even more interesting ways do answer this question. Sometimes they will make a noticeable pause in the conversation before answering.

Any more great answers , we’d love to hear them.

Posted on October 25, 2012, in Australia, Law & Government. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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