False confessions are an admission of wrongdoing for a criminal act that the defendant did not commit. Even though this may appear counterintuitive, such disclosures can be willingly offered, for example, to help somebody else, or forced through harsh interrogation methods.

Forced confessions, on the other hand, are collected by the use of violence or the threat of injury.  Here’s what you need to know about false confessions, what to do if you’ve been pressured by the police, and how a criminal lawyer may assist you.

Kinds of False Confessions

Consensual false confessions, cooperative false confessions, and compelled false confessions are the three types of false confessions that can be categorized by the criminal justice system. The most prevalent cause of voluntary false confessions is a psychiatric disorder or mental illness that alters a defendant’s understanding of reality.

A cooperative false confession occurs when someone accused of a crime confesses to a crime in order to end distressing or harsh questioning. A compelled false confession happens when authorities end up causing an accused person to doubt their own memory. They begin to believe they participated in the crime even though they have no recollection of the event.

Why Would Someone Admit to a Crime They Didn’t Commit?

There are a variety of reasons why somebody would confess to a criminal act they didn’t commit. Someone may, for example, be attempting to deflect blame from the person who was genuinely responsible for the violation. Alternatively, authorities may have convinced the suspect that if they cooperated, their penalty would be less serious. Defendants who are mentally unwell may assume that if they confess to perpetrating the offense, they would become legendary.

How a Criminal Lawyer Can Assist You

A criminal defense attorney is an extremely valuable asset to have when you are facing criminal accusations, whether or not you are actually guilty. A lawyer can help protect your rights under California law and prepare a solid defense aimed at having the charges against you dismissed or reduced.

Your rights and freedoms are on the line after being accused of being involved in a crime. It’s  critical that you take action as quickly as possible to defend yourself in a court of law. Contact Sacramento criminal defense lawyer Jennifer Mouzis today for a consultation to discuss potential defense strategies or to ask questions by calling (916) 822-8702.