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Confessions in Federal Court

October 9, 2021

A confession is a statement that a person accused of a crime makes outside of the courtroom. It must be a voluntary statement in which you acknowledge that you committed a crime or were the accessory to a crime. It must be understood that there is no way that your conduct would have been deemed to be legal and that your actions could not be defended.

How Does the Court Determine Voluntariness?

In order for a confession to be admitted into evidence, the trial judge must determine that the suspect voluntarily provided it. In determining the voluntariness of the confession, the trial judge considers the following:

  • When did the suspect make the confession? Was it after he or she was arrested, or was it before he or she was arraigned?
  • Did the suspect understand the nature of the offense he or she was suspected of committing at the moment that he or she decided to confess?
  • Was the suspect aware that he or she was not obligated to make any statements and that the statements that he or she freely made could be used against him or her?
  • Was the suspect advised that he or she had the right to obtain an attorney before he or she answered any questions?
  • Did the suspect have an attorney when he or she was being questioned or confessing to the crime?

What Is the Basic Rule?

The Fifth Amendment of The Constitution gives you the right not to incriminate yourself. Therefore, no law enforcement official can force you to confess to any crime. It’s the reason that you cannot be forced to talk to the district attorney in his or her office. It is also the reason that you will not be forced to testify at your trial. If FBI agents arrive at your home early in the morning, you are not obligated to answer any questions or make any confessions at that time.

Law enforcement officers can ask you questions, and you may answer those questions. The time when you are not obligated to answer questions is when the answer would be a confession to a crime or when the answer would incriminate you. For example, a law enforcement officer might have questions for you about another person’s involvement in a crime. You could answer these questions because the answers would only incriminate another person, but the time when you wouldn’t want to answer these questions is when you were an accessory to the crime. Then, you wouldn’t be obligated to answer these questions because you would be incriminating yourself if you did.

The government can encourage you to make a confession, but it must arrange a plea agreement that protects you. The plea agreement would state that you would be free to testify in a case that incriminates you, but you would not be prosecuted. In this instance, you would receive “immunity” for your testimony, but you would have to make sure that the law enforcement officer offers you an immunity deal in writing before you make the confession.

What Is a Miranda Warning?

If you are in the custody of a law enforcement official, he or she must give you a “Miranda Warning.” The Miranda Warning makes it so that the prosecution may present to the court what was said during the interrogation. If you did not receive a Miranda Warning before you confessed, the confession will not be admissible in court. You may have confessed to a crime after you received the Miranda Warning. If so, your confession would be admissible in court.

What Is the Motion to Suppress?

If law enforcement officials cause you to feel pressured to confess to a crime, your criminal defense attorney can file a Motion to Suppress the confession. The belief is that law enforcement officials broke the law during the interrogation, so what you said at that time should not be used against you in your court case. The government attorney may decide to drop the charges against you because he or she cannot tell the jury that you confessed to the crime.

Hire a Criminal Defense Law Firm…

If you confessed to a crime and you believe that it wasn’t legal, you must contact a criminal defense attorney today.

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Confessions in Federal Court

February 2, 2019

Federal employees to be subjected under the investigations by Inspector General or an OIG agent calls federal employee for an interview. During the interview with an OIG agent, a federal employee is given a warning. The warning concerns the statement they make.

 

When a federal employee is under investigation, there are two things to worry about. These two things include the possibility of a criminal case and the possibility of administrative action taken against the employee or job. The agents investigate both, but they are a little different.

 

A federal employee who sits down with an OIG agent gears two types of warnings. The differences between these warnings are crucial because they say a lot the ongoing investigation by the OIG and the employee. The first one is known as a Garrity warning. It is named after the Supreme Court case Garrity v. New Jersey. The second is a Kalkines warning which is named after Kalkines v. United States – a case from the Court of federal Claims. Those who have heard of a Miranda warning are familiar with law enforcement interview.

 

When you are given a Miranda Warning, you are informed that you have a right not to say anything. You are also told that if you speak anything, it can be used against you. You also have the right to hire a lawyer and you are told if you cannot afford, a lawyer is provided for you. Miranda Warnings should be read in instances like when police arrest someone. They should also be read when the police do something close to arresting someone.

 

When OIG agents schedule for an interview with a federal employee, it is different from when they are at the police station where they have been booked. However, OIG agents have powers when it comes to the job for the federal employee. So if an OIG agent comes to interview the federal employees, they feel that they do not have the right to refuse. The employee may not know the rules relating to the interview, and he/she may be scared when being questioned by the OIG agent and she may fail to ask.

 

Garrity warnings should fix such a problem. One of the versions of a Garrity warning can be this:

 

You are asked to give information as an integral part of an administrative investigation or internal investigation. The interview is voluntary, and it is not a must that you answer the questions if you feel they may show that you are involved in a crime. If you refuse to answer the questions, you cannot be punished, but your silence may give evidentiary value. Your silence can be considered in your case during the administrative proceedings. If you choose to answer the questions, you should know that they can be used against you during the proceedings.

 

The federal employee who hears the Garrity warning learns that the OIG agent may or may use the employee’s statement in a criminal case. But if the employee is worried that he/she may not be careful enough when talking to the OIG agent, he/she can choose not to speak.

 

Kalkines warnings are not the same. One version of a Kalkines warning is like this:

 

You are being interviewed as part of an administrative /internal investigation. You will be asked various questions relating to your duties as an employee. You must respond to these questions in the best way possible. If you fail to be truthful and answer all the questions completely, it can lead to disciplinary action which can also include a dismissal. The answers you give can be used against you in the internal proceedings. But not part of the information you provide and answers you give can be used against you in a criminal case. It can only happen when you willfully and knowingly make false statements.

 

Ideally, a Kalkines warning should be issued after an OIG agent consults a federal prosecutor. The federal prosecutor makes decisions not to use the things being investigated on a federal criminal case. The downside of this warning is that you have to comply with an OIG agent and answer all the questions entirely if the warning they issue is on your employment. If you refuse, they may either fire you or discipline you.

 

federal employees can be investigated for criminal prosecution. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for investigations. The investigation by OIG is useful because it helps in the prosecution of those who do wrong. Before the interview, the investigator states the rights of the employee. They may be the right to be represented by the union, getting legal counsel and remaining silent among others. It is crucial for an employee to understand these warnings that the employee hears before an interview. Understanding them helps when the Office of Inspector General is questioning a federal employee. Visit this site where you can get more information and useful resources.

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