Police Coercion

UNDERSTANDING POLICE COERCION

To put it simply, coercion on the part of a law enforcement officer is when undue pressure is exerted to get a suspect to expressly state his or her part in a criminal act. It is vital to keep in mind that not all coerced confessions are confessions that are false. A false confession only occurs when a person comes forward to law enforcement officials, or during an interrogation, admits guilt to a crime in which her or she was not a participant.

A false confession can be made due to an untreated mental condition, the desire for notoriety and even stress. While police coercion is a factor in getting a false confession, not all confessions made under such circumstances can be considered false or completely inaccurate.

COERCIVE POLICE TACTICS

Common coercive tactics police choose to employ include:

  • Abuse of both rank and power
  • Threatening the suspect with excessive consequences
  • Physically harming suspects
  • Abusive psychological techniques
  • Lying

FROM THREATS TO TORTURE

It is not unheard of for a law enforcement officer to switch to harsh tactics when working with a suspect. But some law enforcement officers will occasionally switch to tactics such as untruthfully stating that evidence exists pointing to the guilt of the suspect. Some police officers have also made the threat of physical harm or discomfort. Still others will inform a suspect that he or she will be convicted of a more serious offense, even without a confession of guilt in the criminal act. These tactics can persuade the innocent to enter a false confession.

PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL COERCION IS NOT ALLOWED

Law enforcement is prohibited from employing psychological or physical coercion when conducting an interrogation. A confession that is the result of violence, threats, drugging or inhumane treatment is inadmissible in court.

If you have suffered false imprisonment, you know that it is a scary and often intimidating situation. Being certain that law enforcement followed the law and remained within the legal boundaries of your rights is important. Let an attorney review your case today.

Romanucci & Blandin, LLC – 321 N Clark St #900, Chicago, IL 60654 – (312) 458-1000

Get In Touch

DISCLAIMERS:

This website is purely a public resource of general information. Although it is not intended to be a source of either solicitation or legal advice, it must be regarded as an advertising or promotional communication in the terms of the lawyers’ professional responsibility law. Accordingly, it is necessary that certain information be supplied to and noted by the reader.

This website should not be considered as an offer to represent in any legal matter, nor should it be the basis of legal hiring decisions. Thus, the reader should not consider this information to be an invitation for an attorney-client relationship, should not rely on information provided herein, and should always seek advice of competent counsel.

All lawsuits are different, and Romanucci & Blandin makes no representation or promises that it can obtain the same results as reported in other legal matters. Nothing on this website constitutes a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of any future legal matter. Further, it should be noted that even where the fee arrangements are on a contingency basis, clients will still be responsible for payment or reimbursement of the costs and expenses of litigation.

Romanucci & Blandin is licensed to practice only in Illinois and works with counsel in local jurisdictions as required. Romanucci & Blandin has made a good faith effort to comply with all laws and ethical rules of every state in which this website may be viewed.. In the event, however, that it is found not to comply with the requirements of any state, Romanucci & Blandin disclaims any wish to represent anyone desiring representation based upon viewing this website in such state.