What Happens if You Confess to a Crime in Los Angeles, CA

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Many people don’t realize that confessions can be involuntary, coerced, or false. People imagine that the only possible reason why someone would ever confess to a crime is if they are guilty of one.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Almost every wrongful conviction involves some form of false confession. Even the courts know it, which is why a written confession to the police still doesn’t result in your case going immediately to sentencing. 

The confession must not be the only evidence in the case.

In California, the principle of corpus delicti, a term which means “body of the crime,” applies. This legal principle prevents the prosecution from relying solely upon your confession in order to convict you. 

The prosecution is still going to have to come up with physical evidence and witnesses to get you convicted of the crime. 

In California, some confessions cannot even be used at trial. 

A coerced confession may be thrown out. Several factors are taken into account, including the location of the interrogation, the length of the interrogation, and whether or not the defendant invoked their rights to remain silent and to an attorney. Sometimes police do not honor this invocation of rights. 

In addition, courts consider the age, mental health, physical health, and experience with the justice system when deciding whether or not the confession may have been coerced. 

If the judge determines that the confession was coerced, the confession may be thrown out and the jury may never see it. 

Ideally, you wouldn’t talk to the police at all. 

Even though there is a chance we can get a confession thrown out it is never a good idea to provide one. It may surprise you to learn that you could be tempted, especially if police won’t leave you alone. Nevertheless, we urge you to hold fast to the hardline that you invoke your right to remain silent and you invoke your right to an attorney.

Say nothing else. The cops are not your friends. They cannot work out a good deal for you, that’s the prosecutor. They can’t “help you out.” They won’t send you home. There is absolutely no benefit to you in saying one word, let alone in giving them the confession they’re hounding you for. 

Just let your lawyer handle it. Innocent or guilty, once the process starts there’s little you can do besides get through the process. You can at least give yourself your best chance of going home free by staying firm and repeating those words as if by rote and saying nothing else. Police aren’t even supposed to continue trying to talk to you after you do this; if they do we can use that information against them. 

See also:

What to Do If You Get Arrested in Los Angeles, CA

Wrongful Convictions in Los Angeles, LA 

How to Exercise Your 5th Amendment Rights After a Los Angeles Arrest

What Happens if You Confess to a Crime in Los Angeles, CA

inne-rpage-seperator

Many people don’t realize that confessions can be involuntary, coerced, or false. People imagine that the only possible reason why someone would ever confess to a crime is if they are guilty of one.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Almost every wrongful conviction involves some form of false confession. Even the courts know it, which is why a written confession to the police still doesn’t result in your case going immediately to sentencing. 

The confession must not be the only evidence in the case.

In California, the principle of corpus delicti, a term which means “body of the crime,” applies. This legal principle prevents the prosecution from relying solely upon your confession in order to convict you. 

The prosecution is still going to have to come up with physical evidence and witnesses to get you convicted of the crime. 

In California, some confessions cannot even be used at trial. 

A coerced confession may be thrown out. Several factors are taken into account, including the location of the interrogation, the length of the interrogation, and whether or not the defendant invoked their rights to remain silent and to an attorney. Sometimes police do not honor this invocation of rights. 

In addition, courts consider the age, mental health, physical health, and experience with the justice system when deciding whether or not the confession may have been coerced. 

If the judge determines that the confession was coerced, the confession may be thrown out and the jury may never see it. 

Ideally, you wouldn’t talk to the police at all. 

Even though there is a chance we can get a confession thrown out it is never a good idea to provide one. It may surprise you to learn that you could be tempted, especially if police won’t leave you alone. Nevertheless, we urge you to hold fast to the hardline that you invoke your right to remain silent and you invoke your right to an attorney.

Say nothing else. The cops are not your friends. They cannot work out a good deal for you, that’s the prosecutor. They can’t “help you out.” They won’t send you home. There is absolutely no benefit to you in saying one word, let alone in giving them the confession they’re hounding you for. 

Just let your lawyer handle it. Innocent or guilty, once the process starts there’s little you can do besides get through the process. You can at least give yourself your best chance of going home free by staying firm and repeating those words as if by rote and saying nothing else. Police aren’t even supposed to continue trying to talk to you after you do this; if they do we can use that information against them. 

See also:

What to Do If You Get Arrested in Los Angeles, CA

Wrongful Convictions in Los Angeles, LA 

How to Exercise Your 5th Amendment Rights After a Los Angeles Arrest

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