Jax Attorney Tells Citizens How to Avoid Arrest With Self-Help Book

Nov 8, 2013

Each year, around 9.7 percent of Jacksonville's adult population is arrested and put in jail for at least one night, according to local attorney and former FBI agent Dale Carson. 

Credit Authors Dale C. Carson and Wes Denham

As a result, Jacksonville has the highest arrest record in the United States.

This alarming statistic has inspired a how-not-to guide, filled with frank and irreverent advice, on avoiding police stops, interacting with authorities and how to keep even the most clueless civilians out of the criminal justice system. Arrest-Proof Yourself: 2nd Edition is a self-help book, written by Carson and local author Wes Denham, that shows how easy it is to be arrested and what steps you can take to prevent being locked up. "It details what the system is, how it works, and how you can avoid becoming a statistical accomplishment for police officers," Carson said. "It's not a book about how to beat the system."

The book offers humorous and ironic anecdotal tips for the many who simply do not understand the dynamics of law enforcement.

Carson is also a former Miami police officer and set the Florida record for felony arrests. He said arrests and citations are a significant revenue stream for both the government and the state. "This drains untold millions of dollars out of people's pockets," Carson said, "and into the government and criminal justice system. Some of the book's advice is obvious; be polite, don't lie to authorities, and don't look conspicuous. "The criminal justice system is set up to enforce middle-class values and attitudes," Denham said. "If you have behaviors or looks that aren't middle-class, you're going to stand out." Denham said profiling is an unfortunate necessity of law enforcement, as well as every day life. "To a certain degree, we all profile one another," Denham said. "We make certain assumptions; it's shorthand for living, really." The book also covers many other scenarios, like "Stand Your Ground" laws, concealed weapons and enduring psychological pressure from police.