If someone is innocent of a crime but confesses anyway, this is known as a false confession. Although confessing guilt for a criminal activity a defendant did not actually engage in seems detrimental to their case, there are a number of reasons why this can occur.
False confessions are not akin to forced confessions, which law enforcement officers may try to obtain by intimidating or hurting the defendant. Here are the fundamentals of false confessions, as well as what to do if you’re talked into making a confession, and where you can obtain comprehensive legal assistance after being charged with a crime.
Evaluating Confession Types
The United States criminal code divides false confessions into three separate groups, including compliant, coerced, and voluntary confessions. When the suspect of a criminal offense is led to disbelieve their own recall or memory of what occurred, they start believing they were truly involved and that their memories must be incorrect. This is a coerced confession.
When investigators abuse a subject during an investigation to the point that they admit to the act only to end the aggressive questioning, this is known as a compliant confession. Most voluntary admissions are offered by people who are mentally ill who may not completely grasp their situation and end up inadvertently acknowledging their involvement.
Reasons a Defendant Might Confess to Something They Never Did
For a variety of reasons, a person could admit to criminal activity they did not engage in. One possibility is that they are seeking to conceal the true culprit of the act. Alternatively, they may feel that if they follow the detectives’ instructions, their sentence might be reduced. People with mental illnesses may make a false confession if they feel it would lead to notoriety.
Get In Touch With a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away
Your best criminal defense is to hire an attorney as soon as you learn that you are suspected of a crime, before you are ever questioned by law enforcement officers. This allows your lawyer the opportunity to prevent a coercive interrogation before the police secure a confession. If you’ve already spoken with officers and confessed, your attorney can show evidence that you have a mental condition or that you had motivation to offer a false confession.
Contact Los Angeles defense lawyer Chad Lewin today for a consultation to discuss your case by calling (800) 458-1488.