Los Angeles
Criminal Defense Attorneys

I was coerced into giving a confession. What now?

by admin   May 19, 2018   Filed Under:

After being arrested, you are supposed to be read your Miranda rights. These are rights that you have that state that you can hire an attorney and that anything you say can and will be used against you in court. You also have the right to remain silent. This means that you do not have to tell the arresting officer anything until you talk to an attorney. However, there are officers who will use tactics to coerce a confession out of you. If you decide to waive your Miranda rights, there are still proper techniques and tactics that the officer needs to use and that are followed in order to obtain a confession. If you offer a confession that is not of your own accord, then it can be deemed coercion.

While there are a few instances when officers use extreme measures to get a confession from someone, such as pointing a weapon in the person’s face, most coerced confessions are achieved because the officer uses wording that is threatening. Some officers and other law enforcement personnel will threaten to arrest friends and family members if you don’t confess. Even if you know that you’re not guilty, you might admit guilt to prevent someone you love from being arrested or someone who was not involved in the event in any way from being arrested. This is a time when you have to think about what’s fair and what is right. If you confess, then this is listed on your record. An attorney can examine the evidence and what happened during the confession to determine if it was coerced and how to get the confession taken off the record.

At times, officers will tell you that they will work out a deal with the prosecution if you cooperate and confess. This usually doesn’t work in your favor and should be avoided because the prosecution likely doesn’t even know about the charges yet or the arrest. Unfortunately, there are times when you might need medical attention or when you need to use the restroom and aren’t allowed these privileges until you confess. Food and water can be denied by some officers until you confess. These are only some of the ways that you can be coerced. If you feel that you have been mistreated and coerced into a confession, then you need to speak with the proper court officials and offer the name of the officer so that the proper confession can be recorded.

Should I hire an attorney for minor charges?
Being arrested for anything can be a traumatic experience, but all too often, people tend to think that minor charges aren’t worth fighting. The truth is, however, that even minor charges can lead to big consequences, including jail time. On top of that, being convicted of a minor charge can possibly affect your professional future, relationships, and family.

Always Rely on the Advice of a Los Angeles Criminal Attorney

As a result, it’s always a good idea to consult with a qualified attorney if charged with a crime, however minor it may seem. An attorney will be able to examine your case, provide you with options, and if you choose, provide you with legal representation. Another important reason to seek legal representation for minor offenses is that your charges may become larger if you say the wrong thing.

For example, if you’re charged with a minor offense and you make an error in admitting to something else during a police interview, even if you didn’t do it, your charges may turn into felony charges. This may mean serious prison time, hefty fines, and a host of permanent consequences in the future. As such, even if charged with a minor crime, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney prior to talking with law enforcement, which is your right as provided by the Constitution of the United States.

What to Expect After an Arrest

After an arrest for a minor crime, you can typically expect to be handcuffed and read your Miranda rights. This is where you will be told that you are free to contact an attorney to represent you or have an attorney provided for you. At this time, you also have the right to remain silent, which is generally a good idea until you have the chance to consult with a legal professional.

You will then be taken to the local jail to be processed and booked. During this time, you may be photographed and fingerprinted. It would be a good idea to keep a mental log of all interactions that take place during this process. Afterwards, your clothing and possessions will often be taken and locked up, you will be issued clothing, and you will be placed in a cell until your lawyer arrives.

At that time, you will be provided with the opportunity to speak with your lawyer confidentially about your situation. From there, you will likely have a court date set, and depending upon the advice of your attorney, you will either have a jury trial, your attorney will offer a plea deal, or your attorney will provide the judge with a motion for a directed verdict.

Get Professional Legal Advice From an Attorney

Because of the complexity of the criminal justice system, working with an attorney is usually a critical step in ensuring that justice is served and your name is cleared. Even if you are guilty of a minor crime, an attorney can help to protect you from wrongful incrimination or worse. The bottom line? If in doubt, work with an attorney to resolve any legal matters, regardless of whether you think they are minor or not.

How Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers Can Help Your Case
Just because you were arrested under suspicion of DUI, doesn’t mean you are necessarily guilty. In fact, even if the arresting officer claims to have evidence from testing equipment to show your level of sobriety, a skilled Los Angeles DUI lawyer can get the case dismissed.Here are a few of the ways the Los Angeles DUI lawyer can cast doubt on your case and get the charges reduced or the case dismissed;

Questioning the Arresting Officer
Your Los Angeles DUI lawyer is going to either get a chance to question the arresting officer during a hearing for your license or at the trial, but either way, these questions can help to discredit the officer and weaken their case. Your attorney is going to have a copy of the arrest video, and will be able to clearly see what field tests were administered the night of your arrest. With so many tests to choose from, your Los Angeles DUI lawyer wants to see why the officer chose the tests they did.

If the field tests are determined to be challenging even for someone who is sober, your attorney can begin to chip away at the intent of the officer and if they were fair in the assessment of your condition.

Checking the Testing Device History
There are a number of reasons the testing equipment used at the scene could have given a false reading. There are currently well over one hundred different interfering substances that can cause a breathalyzer to give a false reading, not to mention medical conditions or equipment malfunctions. Your Los Angeles DUI lawyer is going to dig deep into the performance records of the testing equipment too, to see if it has a history of providing inaccurate readings.

The best DUI lawyer can cast doubt on the test results by showing a device that can not be counted on to provide consistent readings. If the reading was wrong with another driver, then it could be wrong when it was used to obtain your numbers that evening as well.

The Experience in Equipment Calibration
The testing equipment that was used to determine your level of sobriety may have been working fine for other officers, but could it have provided a false reading for this officer in particular? One of the things that your attorney is going to do is to dig deep to see if this officer has a history of not being able to correctly use the equipment. Maybe this officer didn’t calibrate the device correctly before it was used, so the reading could be inaccurate. Your lawyer is trying to get the records to show this officer may have a history of making mistakes with a certain piece of equipment, and this client should not have to suffer those consequences.

If the attorney does uncover evidence this officer doesn’t have enough experience with the device they used to obtain the test results, it could cast a doubt over the case. At that point, your attorney will try to get the case dismissed or charges dropped to reckless instead.

Violation of Your Rights
Regardless what the reasoning for pulling the vehicle over, the arresting officer must follow a strict code of conduct throughout the arresting process. One reason that the police officer has a dash cameras is so that they can be reviewed from time to time on how they treated suspects. Your Los Angeles DUI lawyer is going to eventually subpoena that videotape, both at the scene at in the police station, and carefully analyze the entire process.

It only takes one small instance of the arresting officer not reading the suspect their rights or violating them, that the lawyer can push for a dismissal. Most drivers have no idea what rights are afforded to them during an arrest, your attorney knows all the laws and understands when your rights have been violated when you were being tested or taken to jail.

Regardless whether you think you really are innocent or guilty, your best course of action will be to team up with a skilled Los Angeles criminal lawyer who can utilize their expertise to show the court the findings are not completely accurate.