Can The Police Use My Statement Against Me?
People accused of crimes often ask: “can the police use my statement against me?” In order for a statement to be used against someone in court, the statement must be voluntary and may also need Miranda warnings prior to the statement being given. A truly voluntary statement is important and valuable, because a confession given under torture or abusive conditions may simply be someone telling their tormentor what he or she wants to hear in order to make the torture stop.
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives people the right to remain silent and to be free from being forced to incriminate himself or herself. These rights in the 5th
Amendment also mandate that any statements must be voluntary. The Ohio Supreme Court
cited the following factors in determining whether a statement is voluntary include: totality of the circumstances, age, mentality, and prior criminal experience of the accused; the length, intensity, and frequency of the interrogation; the existence of physical deprivation or mistreatment; and the existence of threat or inducement.
While certain police actions can render a statement involuntary, other police actions do not necessarily do so. Police can lie to a suspect to a certain degree. For example, they can falsely tell a suspect that they have evidence against them in order to get them to confess. However, they cannot tell someone they can get probation for a crime that carries a mandatory prison sentence.
Involuntary statements and Miranda violations can be challenged in Ohio with a motion to suppress. An experienced criminal law attorney can seek out and pursue such violations to protect someone’s rights. A successful motion to suppress can invalidate a confession, which can seriously damage the prosecutor’s case.
To learn more, read my other blogs related to this topic. I wrote about this topic in the criminal defense page
and the following blogs: Miranda Warnings
, waiver of the right to remain silent
, and what it means to be taken into custody
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Call Attorney Gigiano at 330-336-3330 if you need the services of a Wooster drug crime attorney near Orrville, Barberton drug crime lawyer near Doylestown, Ohio, or a Stark County drug crime lawyer near Massillon.