Have my rights been violated ifI was forced into a confession?

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Have my rights been violated ifI was forced into a confession?

I went to the police station for questioning regarding a theft at my work place. During the questioning, the officer accused me. When I would deny it, he would interrupt me and tell me to stop lying. He kept saying he knew I did it. I was told I could confess and possibly keep the situation a little more quiet, or I could deny it and he’d come arrest me at my home or job. I asked to speak with someone else to see if I had other options. He said no. He also refused to let me see the evidence against me. I confessed for damage control. I felt it was the only way I would be allowed to leave. What do I do now? Do I need a criminall defense attorney? In Des Moines, County, IA.

Asked on March 3, 2011 under Criminal Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, get a criminal defense attorney right away. The answer is, a forced confession is very rarely, if ever, admissible. However, the problem can often be proving that it was forced or coerced--if there was no one else present at the questioning, it will be your word against the officer's, and whose word do you think is generally considered more credible? A criminal defense attorney will vastly improve your odds of finding some way to fight this, so retain one immediately, and do NOT say anything to anyone--especially the authorities--until you talk to your lawer. Remember: the police can NOT make you talk; you have an absolute constitutional right (5th amendment) against self-incrimination (the right  to remain silent). If you can't afford an attorney, one must be appointed for you. And in the future--if you are not under arrest, you may leave police questioning--they can't hold you without arresting you.


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