Felony Attorney in Houston Explains How Forced Confessions Happen
As a felony attorney in Houston, I work with clients that have been accused of all types of crimes. My clients include those charged with domestic violence, arson, manslaughter, drug crimes, driving under the influence, assault, and more. As a lawyer, my objective is always to ensure that my clients’ rights are protected at all stages during the process. This starts from the moment that the police show up. One of the biggest challenges that a lawyer can have is disputing eye witness testimony and disputing a confession. Unfortunately, false or coerced confessions happen all of the time.
One of the ways that the police can get a confession is to engage with you on a friendly basis. For example, if you are pulled over and the police banters with you like a normal friend would, you may start to relax. When they casually ask if they can take a look in your car, you might then consent. The problem is that police are notorious for “finding” things and many people have been held over for drug crimes that they did not commit due to “evidence” that was found in their car.
This same principle often applies when the police show up after an event that you consider to be minor. For example, if you were out at the bar and got into a scuffle with someone, you both may have gotten your aggression out and be ready to move on. If the police show up and ask you questions like “did you throw a punch” or “what happened tonight” your answers will influence what happens next. Given the casualness of the conversation, many people open up only to find that they are taken into custody and charged with assault. It is far better not to say anything to the police and not to answer any of their questions. You need to acknowledge them and be polite, letting them know that you prefer not to speak with them without an attorney and asking if you are free to go. At that point, they need to make a decision to either arrest you or let you walk away. If you have not confessed or given them information to indicate that you did something wrong, you may be free before you know it. If they persist, call a felony attorney in Houston so that you have representation even before being arrested. It all comes down to protecting your rights and not saying anything that could incriminate yourself or look like a confession.
If the police do arrest you, having an attorney present is the best thing that you can do. As a felony attorney in Houston, I know that police interrogation techniques have improved over the years. It is no longer common for officers to physically or mentally abuse the accused. However, that does not mean that you will not be forced to sit in an interrogation room for hours, be restricted in your bathroom breaks, be denied food, etc. As a felony attorney in Houston, I can be on hand to ensure that you are treated with respect at all times. This can help to prevent many of the coerced confessions that used to be so common.
[AUTHOR'S NOTE: Having practiced criminal law in Texas, primarily in Houston, for many years, I have spent countless hours explaining various aspects of the law to clients, prospective clients and people who are simply curious about the law. Whenever I do so, I exercise great caution to stress that a quick explanation, or even a lengthy explanation, can never fully account for all of the complexities that are sure to arising in handling any specific case. All criminal cases, from seemingly the most minor to obviously the most complex, should be handled by a properly trained and experienced criminal defense attorney.
These articles, and all of the material contained in this website, are only intended to provide a general overview of the topics discussed. And while they may contain some very useful information to the reader, theses articles must not be viewed as a substitute for specific legal advice. Unless otherwise stated, all comments refer to Texas law.
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