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Save Your Confession for Church

Why you should never confess to a crime without a lawyer present

Prosecutors love to try cases where the defendant has already confessed to the crime during a police interrogation. Often, a confession saves the prosecution the time and effort of having to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Young people are especially vulnerable to confessing to crimes they did not commit.

Police investigators sometimes use underhanded tactics to manipulate suspects into confessing to crimes they did not commit. Such tactics may include physical coercion or more subtle techniques. Police interrogators are taught to isolate a suspect, act confident of the suspect’s guilt and pretend that the prosecution has more evidence than it really does. Often interrogators use veiled threats to make a suspect feel hopeless and then make offers of leniency or suggest that judges or prosecutors will react more favorably if the suspect confesses and expresses remorse.

It is perfectly legal for the police interrogators to lie to a suspect. They often exaggerate the consequences that might follow a conviction or encourage suspects to take the fall for loved ones. Interrogators are also trained to interrupt a suspect who denies committing the crime or offers any justification for it. Interrogators are very good at getting people to confess, regardless of guilt. According to the Innocence Project, in 25 percent of the 303 convictions overturned in U.S. history due to DNA evidence, the defendants had been convicted in part by their own false confessions.

The Miranda Act guarantees the right to remain silent and to request a lawyer. You should never submit to interrogation, let alone confess to criminal activity, without consulting with an attorney. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, call a ­­veteran criminal defense lawyer immediately for help.

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