Recently bursting back into the public eye through the recent hit series Making A Murderer, the difficulties that defendants face after making a false confession are steep, and the ways in which police officers obtain those bits of false information are often seen as so unfair that people are starting to protest publicly about it, and for good reason. The hours of grueling interrogations are often designed to take advantage of individuals without proper legal counsel and who don’t know any better for a number of reasons. If you have been arrested, it is an overwhelming process and always necessary to have your attorney present to prevent against both self-incrimination and making a false confession just to make the ordeal end. Let’s take a closer look.
Confessions are one of the points most sought after by prosecution, because they know that juries simply cannot imagine any reason why an innocent individual would confess to committing a crime if they didn’t actually do it. It seems illogical and to go against our very nature, and it does, but the process by which individuals are hammered by the prosecution and law enforcement is seemed to be set up almost designed for them to fail even if they never committed the crime for which they are accused.
You should typically only answer police questioning with your lawyer present. When an experienced criminal defense attorney is with you, police questioning will be to the point and businesslike, because they know they won’t be able to pull a fast one on us. If they are just in the presence of someone scared and overwhelmed, they may pretend to be sympathetic and help you out, but really they are gaining the information that they need even if it isn’t in your own best interest.
Most victimized by this type of intensive interrogation are individuals who were never fully educated about their rights and the way the legal system works. They can be bullied into thinking that they will be convicted no matter what, and a guilty confession—even if innocent—is their best hope at getting a smaller sentence. They may feel that their innocence means that a guilty confession will not be held against them, and psychologists say that individuals will make these false confessions just to make the questioning end if it is proving to be too strenuous or stressful for them to handle.
Overall, you should of course never confess falsely, and you should be very careful in what questions you answer while in police custody. You know that you have the right to remain silent and to receive proper legal counsel. For more information on what I can provide in this area to all of my clients, call me, Leon Matchin, for a free consultation today. I can be reached by phone at 732-662-7658 and look forward to representing you soon.