When someone is facing criminal charges, there is a lot of pressure put on them to confess to the crime – whether they committed the crime or not. The police may interrogate you and tell you they have all the evidence they need, but they’ll go easy on you if you just confess. You may be feeling the stress of the process and just want it to be over. Regardless of the source of the pressure, there is pressure to confess. It may be a big mistake though – one that could threaten your freedom, your livelihood, and your family.
There are countless reasons you should not confess to a crime – at least not without the advice of your attorney – but here are what we think are the top 3 reasons:
- 1. You’ve might be waiving your Miranda rights. Remember when the officer read you your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney? If you keep talking after the officer read you those rights, you might be waiving them. Many times, the officer will have the person sign a waiver of those rights but they don’t have to. Even if you don’t explicitly state you are waiving your rights, your actions could waive them for you. This means you can’t take back what you said. If you aren’t guilty of the crime but fell under the pressure and confessed, it’s very difficult to take that back and it’s extremely difficult to keep that confession out of court during your trial. There’s a reason you have these rights – don’t waive them on a whim.
- 2. The police might be lying to you. Remember when they said they’d go easy on you? That’s probably a lie. Remember when they said they have all the evidence they need against you? Could be a lie. The police are under no obligation to tell you the truth. Take everything they say with a grain of salt. If they have all of the evidence they need, why would they be pushing so hard for you to confess? They may have some evidence against you but wait to let your attorney gauge how much evidence there is and provide you with guidance before you confess to something you may or may not have done.
- 3. You may be waiving defenses. Remember that part of your Miranda warning where they said: “anything you say can and will be used against you”. If you have a defense to a crime, some of the things you say could waive that defense or, at the very least, make it very difficult to prove the defense and convince a judge or jury of that defense. This goes back to the previous point, the police are not working with you to go easy on you, they are working against you and will use your words against you. For example, maybe you didn’t know that what was in that bag was a drug – could that be a defense? Maybe – but if the police pressure you and continually say: “how could you not have known?” or “we know you knew” and you say something that resembles an admission to knowing, you’ve made it much more difficult to use that defense. Wait for your attorney to analyze the facts and provide you with advice and information on available defenses before you unknowingly waive them trying to get a good deal from the police.
Don’t worry - if you have confessed to a crime, there are still some avenues to defend yourself. Moral of the story – don’t make a confession; it will make your attorney's job much more difficult and increase the likelihood of a bad outcome for you. If you’re facing a criminal charge, call us today for your free consultation with the Hester Law Group.