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Can the police lie to a teenage suspect?

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Many adults have a difficult time dealing with police interrogation, and teens arrested and brought into an interrogation room in New Jersey maybe even be less prepared to deal with questioning. In addition to lacking life experience, a young person may be completely unaware of his or her constitutional rights. Sadly, a teenager might be too trusting of authority and not realize the police could outright lie to secure a confession.

Law enforcement lies and getting a confession

When someone confesses to a crime, the prosecutor could enter the statement into evidence. A signed confession might make defending the charges challenging, even when the admission is false and procured under dubious circumstances.

Some criminal defense cases involve police officers lying to a teenager in the interrogation room and the young person falsely confessing to the crime. The accused young person might believe he or she can go home after confessing, hoping to sort things out later.

In some incidents, the police may lie about possessing evidence or suggest that a witness implicated the suspect. While the police cannot legally use physical abuse to procure a confession, the law allows them to use deception. Scores of wrongful convictions have resulted from false confessions acquired when the police deceived a suspect.

Invoking constitutional rights

Both teenagers and adults may potentially avoid making a false confession by invoking their constitutional rights. Among the most helpful rights would be the right to remain silent. Those who talk to the police could make incriminating statements that make defending any subsequent charges challenging.

Having an attorney present during questioning is also a protected right. When an attorney handles the questioning, it might be harder for the police to use deceptive tactics successfully. Dealing with an experienced criminal defense attorney won’t likely be as easy as intimidating a scared teenager, so the defendant may receive help protecting their rights.