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Promises by Law Enforcement During Interrogation

Promises by Law Enforcement During Interrogation

Often criminal suspects will think it is in their best interests to talk or cooperate fully and completely with detectives and members of law enforcement. Among many things, suspects will be told there is incriminating information that exists against the suspect when there really is none, that if they don’t talk, it will only get worse, and that if they do talk, the detectives can promise leniency.

A recent appellate decision out of the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District demonstrates an example of why it is crucial for suspects to request to speak to an attorney and remain silent until doing so. In State v. Dixon, the appellate court held that even though there was a promise of leniency to the suspect if he confessed, it did not render his statements involuntary.

In analyzing the events surrounding the confession, the court states that a statement is involuntary only if the “totality of the circumstances” shows as much. This can often be a very broad standard to evaluate and leaves wide latitude to the judge in making his or her decision to suppress certain statements. Therefore, it is in a suspect’s best interest to exercise his or her rights and remain silent and obtain legal counsel as soon as possible.

If you are being investigated by law enforcement, the St. Louis criminal defense attorneys at Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. are available 24/7 and can meet with you and law enforcement to make sure your rights are not being exploited. Call us anytime at 314-645-4400.