We Go to Battle to
Protect Your Freedom

Free Case Consultation

What are tactics police use to get a confession in Raleigh, North Carolina

Police officers are trained to use a variety of techniques in order to obtain confessions. The most important thing to remember is to remain silent until you speak with a lawyer. This ensures that you won’t say anything that will incriminate you. If a police officer presses you to talk, just tell him or her that you wish to remain silent and speak to an attorney. Repeat this as many times as it takes.

Police often times use the “Reid Technique” in order to obtain a confession. This tactic is quite effective at producing confessions, and the technique relies on the following steps:

The Reid technique’s nine steps of interrogation are:

  • Step 1 – Direct confrontation. Lead the suspect to understand that the evidence has led the police to the individual as a suspect. Offer the person an early opportunity to explain why the offense took place.
  • Step 2 – Try to shift the blame away from the suspect to some other person or set of circumstances that prompted the suspect to commit the crime. That is, develop themes containing reasons that will justify or excuse the crime. Themes may be developed or changed to find one to which the accused is most responsive.
  • Step 3 – Try to discourage the suspect from denying his or her guilt. Reid training video: “If you’ve let him talk and say the words ‘I didn’t do it’…the more difficult it is to get a confession.”
  • Step 4 – At this point, the accused will often give a reason why he or she did not or could not commit the crime. Try to use this to move towards the confession.
  • Step 5 – Reinforce sincerity to ensure that the suspect is receptive.
  • Step 6 – The suspect will become quieter and listen. Move the theme discussion towards offering alternatives. If the suspect cries at this point, infer guilt.
  • Step 7 – Pose the “alternative question”, giving two choices for what happened; one more socially acceptable than the other. The suspect is expected to choose the easier option but whichever alternative the suspect chooses, guilt is admitted. There is always a third option which is to maintain that they did not commit the crime.
  • Step 8 – Lead the suspect to repeat the admission of guilt in front of witnesses and develop corroborating information to establish the validity of the confession.
  • Step 9 – Document the suspect’s admission or confession and have him or her prepare a recorded statement (audio, video or written).

These nine steps are often accompanied by isolation of the suspect, often for hours at a time. Police officers will also lie about evidence or confessions that they have received from isolated co-defendants in order to obtain an admission of guilt. The best way to avoid this systematic interrogation is by remaining silent except to request the presence of an attorney.

Informal questioning can happen anytime a person interacts with a police officer. If you are stopped and don’t know why, you should assume that officer suspects you of criminal activity. Ask if you are free to leave, if you are, then proceed to leave. If not, stay silent and ask for a criminal defense attorney like the ones at the Scharff Law Firm in Raleigh, North Carolina.

False confessions occur all the time during police interrogation. There have been a number of cases in which people have been exonerated by DNA evidence after falsely admitting to a crime that they did not commit. Juveniles, those with mental illness or diminished mental capacity are at a higher risk of falsely confessing.

If you are accused of a crime, questioned or charged with a crime, do not make any statements to the police without the presence of a criminal defense lawyer like the ones at the Scharff Law Firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. Simply tell the police that you wish to remain silent and not make a statement until you speak to an attorney from the Scharff Law Firm. To contact an experienced Raleigh, North Carolina criminal defense attorney call Scharff Law Firm at (919) 457-1954. They can answer all of your questions when it comes to police confessions and criminal charges.