Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, South Carolina

Avoid a False Confession: Understanding Common Police Interrogation Techniques

A dark, empty police interrogation room.

Learn how police try to get confessions.

If you have been arrested, the police might try everything they can to get you to confess to the crime. Some of these tactics are subtle. Others are more blunt. That's why you need to be careful and know what to expect: they may even try to trick you into confessing to committing a crime you did not commit.

Below, you can learn more about some of the tactics police officers might try to use to produce a false confession. Know your rights, and get an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.

1. The police can lie

One thing you might not realize is police do not have to tell the truth. They can lie when they bring you in for questioning. For instance, they might tell you they already know something and just want to "verify" it, when in fact they don't know at all and are simply bluffing.

They also might claim that they turned off the tape recorder in the interrogation room or that they’re simply talking with you off the record. Don’t believe them. Anything you say to a police officer is on the record and can be used as evidence against you.

2. Lie about an accomplice

If someone else was arrested, the police might tell you that the other person told them that you committed the crime. Don’t fall for it. This is a classic trick police use: playing people against each other.

3. Ask leading questions

Watch out for questions that include information you haven't actually given them. For example, a police officer might ask you why you were at the scene of the crime, even though they don't actually know.

4. Threaten or intimidate you

If leading questions don’t work into tricking you into confessing to a crime, be prepared for the police to start yelling at you and threatening you if you don’t start talking. They might also keep you in the interrogation room for hours, hoping they can simply wear you down so you’ll confess to committing a crime.

5. Trick you into providing DNA

The police might offer you a cigarette or a cup of coffee. It seems like a friendly gesture, but they're really looking for an opportunity to get your DNA. They can also lie about finding your DNA at the crime scene.

6. Pretend to be your friend

If you’ve watched movies or television shows about police, you probably know all about the “good cop, bad cop” routine. One police officer yells at you. The other one pretends to be your friend. Don’t trust them. The police are not your friend. The "good cop" routine is a technique to get you to give them information they can use against you.

7. Record cellmate conversations

Be careful about what you say when you’re in police custody. Anything you say in jail can be used as evidence against you. Don't talk about your case with anyone other than your lawyer.

Protect your freedom. Contact a criminal defense attorney.

Being charged with a crime in South Carolina can have serious, life-changing consequences. You could end up spending years in jail if you are charged and convicted of a serious crime.

We know what’s at stake at the law offices of Matt Bodman P.A. That’s why we want to help. Let an experienced South Carolina criminal defense lawyer review the details of your case, answer your questions, and explain your potential legal options.

A former South Carolina prosecutor, attorney Matt Bodman thoroughly understands how the legal system functions and can work with you to build a strong legal defense. Get the law firm that gets results. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our office is in Columbia, SC, and we look forward to talking with you about how we can help with your legal matter.

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South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense LawyersSouth Carolina Association of Criminal Defense LawyersSouth Carolina BarSouth Carolina BarSouth Carolina Association for JusticeSouth Carolina Association for JusticeRichland County Bar AssociationRichland County Bar Association2020 Legal Elite of the Midlands2020 Legal Elite of the Midlands