Can A Promise Of Leniency Impact Your Confession?

Posted on: 21 March 2020


For many people who have been arrested, striking a deal can be a very desirable situation. If you are charged with a DWI, for instance, you might be thinking about the impact such a charge could have on your future. For this reason, you might try to make a deal with a police officer. But should you? And will your confession be admissible in court? If you plan to confess, should you work with an attorney?

In a case like a DWI, you may find yourself in a situation where some evidence exists against you, but it may not necessarily be strong enough to warrant a conviction. You might wonder if detectives would be willing to work with you so you can avoid a lengthy trial. This is what you need to know.

How Do Confessions Work in Court?

In order to accept a confession and use it in a trial, you must have given it up voluntarily. You could not have been coerced or forced to make a confession. Generally, law enforcement cannot promise that the court will be lenient or that you will be immune to prosecution before you give permission. In fact, your confession could be inadmissible if you are promised as such.

The Laws Are Tricky

A lot of this depends on where you are and who is offering a deal. As you will soon see, the laws can be quite tricky in regards to who you can confess to under the belief that it will grant you some sort of favor.

Leniency as a Bargaining Tactic

Of course, there are plenty of ways in which police officers and detectives are able to bargain with defendants without giving an explicit or implicit promise. Your attorney may help you decipher exactly what officers are trying to achieve when they do offer or suggest something.

For example, your confession may be admitted in court based on the promise of an officer that you will be safe in prison. According to the law, it could be implied that the officer is not giving you a promise that he or she will protect you. Instead, they are assuming that you will be safe in prison because there are guards and safety restrictions there.

Without an implicit or explicit threat or promise, your confession may be used against you. For this reason, an officer could tell you that your confession could benefit somebody else, perhaps a co-defendant.

Hire an Attorney

It is a good idea to hire an attorney regardless of whether you intend to confess in the hopes of receiving leniency. Laws in these situations are quite complicated, even for DWIs. You should not approach this topic lightly or without support from a DWI attorney.