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When the police officer or detective spoke to you, did he or she promise you help or leniency if you cooperated and answered questions?

A confession or admission must be freely and voluntarily given. There should be no coercion through scaring a person or offering them hope or help. Admissions attained by police through direct or even implied promises of help or leniency may be involuntary and subject to suppression.

In determining whether a confession was freely and voluntarily given, the judge will consider the "totality of the circumstances" surrounding the confession. This means that the judge will consider the various facts and circumstances surrounding the confession and judge each case on its own unique facts.

A police officer stating that he or she can help an accused, offering to speak to the prosecutor on the accused person's behalf, or implying that the accused will be dealt with leniently if they cooperate, may render any subsequent admission or confession involuntary.

To speak with an attorney for a free case evaluation call (941) 444-5128.

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