The answer to this question depends on whether or not your confession was voluntary. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not allow the prosecution to use an involuntary confession against you at trial. When determining voluntariness, Minnesota courts look to see if the defendant’s will was overborne at the time of the confession by the police through the use of coercion or manipulation. Other factors considered by the courts include the defendant’s age, maturity, intelligence, education and ability to understand. Courts also look at the length of the police interview, the lack of or adequacy of the Miranda warning, and the denial of access to friends and physical needs.
The presence of a large number of armed officers during a police interview my render a confession involuntary. Threats and promises made by police regarding a defendant’s family may also make a confession involuntary. For example, a confession was ruled inadmissible in a case where police told a defendant that she may lose financial aid for her children and that they could be taken from her unless she cooperated with them. Courts look down on confessions that were induced by a police promise of leniency at sentencing or a promise of release from detention after the confession. Intoxication during the interview may also affect the voluntariness of the confession as it could diminish a defendant’s understanding of police questions and of his Miranda rights such has the right to have an attorney present during questioning.
A confession by a defendant in a criminal case is a powerful weapon in the prosecution’s arsenal. Don’t let them use it. If you have made a confession to the police, the law may prohibit its use against you. Call Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Robert J. Shane now for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024.