Interrogation Tactics that Lead to False Confessions
Though it might be surprising, the truth is there are plenty of false confessions. If you aren’t careful, there is a chance you could verbally misstep when speaking to police and investigators, ultimately incriminating yourself even when you are completely innocent. There will come a point in time when you will have to interact with law enforcement. It is in your interest to let an experienced criminal defense attorney speak on your behalf after being charged with a crime. Even if you verbalize all of your answers, you will have the opportunity to consult with your attorney prior to answering questions. Let’s take a quick look at the trap that is a false confession.
Don’t Give in When Pressured
Police and investigators will pressure you into providing answers. Ideally, you won’t speak with anyone investigating the crime unless your attorney is in the room and providing guidance. If you are not careful, you could end up being wrongfully convicted due to a false confession. Sadly, some members of law enforcement will actively attempt to steer charged individuals toward a false confession, especially if they agree to questioning without an experienced criminal defense attorney in the room.
Miranda rights, stemming all the way back to the United States Supreme Court case between Miranda and Arizona in 1966, resulted in the law demanding an explanation of Fifth Amendment rights when holding an individual in custody. This amendment protects United States citizens against self-incrimination, providing those accused with the right to a lawyer upon questioning. Police officers are legally required to read Miranda rights to an individual being charged with a crime. These rights include the right the be silent though anything said can be used against you and the right to an attorney.
Your Miranda Rights empower you to be silent while questioned by law enforcement. However, plenty of people have caved when attempting to sit in silence as police officers pressure them into answering questions. If your attorney is by your side, you will be able to interact with police in full confidence knowing everything you say will be in your interest. However, if you would like to remain silent, you can simply state that you plead the Fifth and request that your attorney be present during additional questioning.
So don’t fall into the trap of accusing someone else, speculating or self-incrimination during a nervous exchange with the police. Even if you are simply attempting to cooperate, your response might be construed as a confession. When in doubt, be on the safe side by letting your attorney speak on your behalf or at least consult with this professional prior to answering specific questions. Keep in mind, pleading the Fifth does not create the impression that you are guilty. Rather, this strategy ensures you have the time and guidance necessary to ensure your responses to questions are not interpreted as a confession.
Keep Your Attorney on Speed Dial
Even if you have not been charged with a crime, there is a chance you will be caught up in activity that makes you a suspect in a criminal case. Put a trusted criminal attorney’s name and phone number in your smartphone and he or she will be available in the event that you are charged with a crime. Instead of caving during pressure-packed question and answer sessions with police and running the risk that your statements will be perceived as a confession, let your attorney help you respond appropriately or at least help you shape your answers, ultimately ensuring justice is served.
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