If you confess to a crime while in police custody, your confession must be voluntary to be used in evidence against you.  Obviously, police may not physically abuse you to make you talk.  But what other police behavior may be considered coercive?

            U.S. Supreme Court cases have found psychological pressure to be coercive.  Examples include: (1) refusing to let a suspect speak to his wife; (2) threatening a suspect with the loss of her children; and (3) prolonged interrogation without rest or contact with individuals other than law enforcement officers.  In People v. Salamon, the court held a confession was coerced where police held the defendant handcuffed to the wall in a locked interrogation room for 24 hours without allowing him to make phone calls.

            As of January 1, 2022, Illinois law requires that you be allowed to communicate within three hours of arrival at your first place of detention.

            If you believe your confession was coerced, your attorney may file a motion to suppress any statements you might have made.  The state must then show your confession was voluntary by preponderance of the evidence.  If the state fails to do so, the judge may suppress your statements and even dismiss your case, provided there was no other evidence against you that arose outside the coercion.  Bear in mind that whether your detention was coercive is a highly fact-based determination which different judges may see very differently.  Therefore, it is often important to find an attorney who is familiar with your courthouse in order to present your case in its best possible light.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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