Criminal Confession: Why You Should Call an Attorney First
The term ‘criminal confession’ may conjure up images of the scruffy person in a mugshot looking guilty or the drunk with bloodshot eyes, maybe the belligerent mugger, but seldom would a person think it could pertain to anyone they know. The fact of the matter is, you could find yourself in a situation where you are being charged with a criminal offense. If you ever do, here are the reasons you should call an attorney before you make any confessions.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent . . .
You have heard it time and again on crime shows, “You have the right to remain silent.” And if you are wise, you will use that right. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States gives you the right to not incriminate yourself. This privilege allows you to refuse to answer any questions or say anything that may incriminate you.
First-time offenders, people under the influence, or people with mental incapacitation may want to talk out of fear of the circumstances in which they find themselves. Law enforcement officers can be very intimidating, and they have tactics to make people talk, but you have the right to remain silent.
Anything You Say . . .
This is the prime reason for getting a lawyer before you speak. “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Without knowing it, you can incriminate yourself with only a few words. Ask for a lawyer and speak with him or her before you confess to anything. Your Miranda Rights give you the opportunity to have a lawyer with you before you answer any questions.
Your lawyer is a guide who helps you understand your rights under the law. The lawyer will also explain what can happen when or if you choose to waive those rights. It can be challenging to be silent until your lawyer arrives, but it is in your best interest to keep quiet, even though tactics may be used against you to make you talk.
Criminal Confession Can Be Coerced
Illegal interrogations do take place from time to time. Boundaries get crossed and lies can be told to make you think you need to make a confession. Some threats are legal, and others are not. If a law enforcement officer uses tactics against you that compromise your free will and you confess to a crime, that criminal confession is considered involuntary.
Denying you food, water, or the opportunity to use the restroom are considered improper and, as such, a confession obtained under such circumstances may not be used in court. So is denying you the opportunity to speak with a lawyer.
The Tison Law Group located in Tampa, FL, has experience working in criminal law. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, contact us before making a criminal confession. We will help sort things out for you and ensure that your rights are defended.