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If arrested, do not speak to the police

The "false confession" is no urban myth. Innocent people falsely confess to crimes they didn't commit all the time. Unfortunately, few studies examine the rate of false confessions. Moreover, it's hard to measure because there is no way to know how many people "falsely" confess because statisticians can only measure people who are exonerated, not people who "falsely" confess. To put it another way, every person who is exonerated gave false confessions but not everyone who gave a false confession is exonerated.

Sadly, false confessions seem to be elicited from the most vulnerable of society: the mentally ill and the underage. It is estimated that 43 percent of all false confessions were given by someone who was mentally ill or sick at the time. Moreover, a further 42 percent of false confessions were proffered by someone who was underage and denied access to an attorney.

In fact, this data seems to indicate that the people who are susceptible to police interrogation tactics are the innocent. Hardened criminals are more likely to clam up and ignore police questioning whereas an innocent person may naively believe that the officer is seeking truth and justice, not simply to confirm a story.

Were you arrested? You should call a defense attorney as soon as possible. As you can see, you can confess to crimes or charges to which you have no knowledge. Police use a variety of tactics, from confusion to leading questions, to guide you to the desired response. A defense attorney can shield you from these tactics to ensure that truth and justice take precedence.

Source: LA Times, "Innocent? Don't talk to the police," James Duane, August 26, 2016

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