Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Aug 10, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

In regard to the law, it is generally advised not to confess a crime to the police. What can be done if you have confessed already? Discuss strategy with your criminal defense attorney. One option would be to file a motion with the court to suppress the use of the confession at trial. In other words, the prosecution cannot use your confession at trial if it was not freely and voluntarily given. Courts often look to the circumstances surrounding the confession when deciding if it was voluntary, such as the defendant’s age, maturity, prior experience with the criminal justice system, length of detention, and the nature of the interrogation (the police’s line of questioning that led to the confession).

Police officers are highly trained in interrogation techniques that are designed to extract confessions from unwilling suspects. Officers often employ trickery and deception when obtaining confessions. The courts on occasion have held some confessions to be involuntary where the police imply that no charges will be brought or the suspect will escape from punishment if he confesses. It’s not uncommon for an interrogating officer to imply that the suspect could avoid a felony conviction if he or she confesses. 

It is important to obatin competent legal representation at this point. An attorney can advise you of the specifics of your case, and how to potenatially reduce punishment, even after a confession.