A signed confession could lead a defendant into a lengthy sentence in a Massachusetts prison. Unfortunately, some admissions may derive from coercion or force. Attempts to recant a confession aren’t always successful, and an innocent person may face a guilty verdict. Sadly, unethical law enforcement officers could employ dubious tactics such as lying to procure a confession.
The police, lying, and procuring a confession
Here is an unsettling truth about police questioning: the police may legally lie to someone. Unless a police officer is under oath, which is not the case during an investigation or interrogation, the officer might lie.
When the police question someone, chances are the officers feel he or she is guilty. Interviews and questions might intend to serve one purpose: to get the person to self-incriminate. Making false promises or assertions to nudge a confession could be among the tactics the police use. Again, law enforcement officers won’t likely face any repercussions for lying to a suspect.
Now, the police cannot legally threaten or harm someone to force a confession. Such tactics likely prove unnecessary anyway. Suspects might confess after receiving false promises or misleading directions.
Dealing with the police
Persons accused of a crime may find it vital to invoke their right to remain silent and only answer questions in the presence of an attorney. Invoking these rights may prove essential when questions at the police station. Not everyone understands their rights and chooses to comply with the police. The aftermath may result in a much more challenging defense.
Upon reviewing the particulars of an arrest and confession, a criminal defense attorney might find the police did do something illegal. If so, then the confession could end up “thrown out” of court.
Criminal defense strategies vary from case to case. Regardless, anyone facing charges may find retaining an attorney essential to receive fair treatment.