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Does a Confession to a Crime Guarantee Prison Time?

Posted by William Aron | Feb 02, 2022

Each year, there are 10 million arrests made in the United States. When a person is arrested for a crime, they are usually brought to the nearest police station for questioning. Unfortunately, the tactics used by law enforcement for questioning tend to be one-sided with the goal of getting the suspect to confess.

The criminal defense attorneys at Aron Law Firm have experience helping clients who believe they have been coerced into making a confession for a crime they were accused of committing. If you are facing time in prison as a result of confessing to a crime, it is important to know that a confession does not guarantee prison time in the state of California.

What Are Your Rights after Confessing to a Crime?

While many people assume that a confession automatically leads to an arrest for crime, that is not always the case. In an attempt to get information from a suspect that would lead to a confession, law enforcement will often intimidate, harass, and pressure people into confessing even if they did not intend to. With the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you can make sure your rights are protected by understanding the following:

Corpus Delicti

Even if a judge rules that a confession may be introduced at trial, this principle prevents the prosecution from relying entirely on the confession for conviction. Instead, the state must present additional evidence linking the arrestee to the crime.

You Cannot Be Forced to Confess

It is the law that a defendant has the right to not be required to be a witness against themselves. In other words, they cannot be forced to confess to a crime they have been accused of. While the law states that a defendant cannot be forced, if they voluntarily confess there is a chance that it will be permissible in court.

If you are unsure of your rights after confessing to a crime, you should contact a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer for help.

Can You Have a Confession Thrown Out?

In some cases, a confession may have been coerced out of an arrestee when law enforcement uses intimidation tactics. In order for a judge to decide whether or not a confession should be thrown out, it must be decided if the confession was voluntary or involuntary.

If law enforcement used tactics that would undermine the suspects free will, then the confession is considered involuntary. In order to establish if a confession was involuntary, ,there must be evidence of the following factors to determine if the arrestee's free will was compromised:

  • Whether law enforcement read the defendant their Miranda Rights at the time of arrest
  • The location of the questioning
  • The length of the interrogation
  • Whether the arrestee requested an attorney, and whether law enforcement honored their right to an attorney
  • Whether the arrestee decided to remain silent and if that right was respected
  • Who initiated the conversation
  • The age, level of maturity, mental or physical health, and experience with the criminal justice system of the arrestee

It can be difficult to prove that a confession was involuntary, but with the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer, it is not impossible.

Contact a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer

After you have been coerced into making a confession for a crime, it may feel like you are guaranteed prison time. However, that is not always the case. If you are facing prison for a crime in California, it is crucial that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer who can help protect your rights.

Aron Law Firm is a team of intelligent criminal defense lawyers with experience helping clients in California. We are passionate about helping our clients reduce the charges against them or get them dropped. To get help with your case, contact our skilled criminal defense lawyers by filling out our contact form or by calling (805) 618-1768.

About the Author

William Aron

Our firm is managed by William M. Aron. William M. Aron is a graduate from the Duke University School of Law and an active member of the California State Bar Association. While at Duke University, Mr. Aron also earned an M.A. in Psychology, authoring a paper examining the efficacy of polygraph e...

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