A confession is a written or oral statement in which the accused admits he or she is guilty of committing a crime that violates the Criminal Code of Canada. However, in some cases, you may be able to challenge the validity of a confession.
This is especially true if there is a basis for proving the confession was involuntary or otherwise inadmissible. The Bourdon Defence criminal lawyers understand the potential penalties associated with criminal convictions. Our knowledgeable legal team may be able to challenge the admissibility of a confession in your case, potentially leading to a dismissal of your charge.
How Criminal Confessions Are Used
Crown prosecutors often use criminal confessions at trial in order to show that the accused committed the crime in question. The prosecutor may introduce the confession at trial for its truth, or during cross-examination to impeach the defendant. The trier-of-fact determines what weight—if any—to give to the confession and should consider all circumstances surrounding the confession.
Voluntariness of a Confession
For a confession to be admissible at trial, it must have been made willingly and voluntarily. In other words, it must not have been coerced or obtained by a police officer or investigator under duress. For example, if a police officer tells the accused that something very bad may happen to him or her, and the accused ultimately confesses to the crime, the confession may later be deemed inadmissible at the trial. A Crown prosecutor is responsible for proving the voluntariness of a criminal confession beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the prosecutor must meet his or her burden beyond any doubt that is based upon ordinary common sense and ordinary reason. It is also worth noting that a confession does not necessarily have to be recorded in order for it to be deemed voluntary and admissible at trial.
To determine admissibility at trial, judges will consider the factual context of a confession. In making this determination, judges often consider whether a confession is too vague or too broad. For example, a confession which is too broad and which could have multiple meanings will likely be deemed inadmissible at trial.
Call a Criminal Defence Lawyer in Calgary Today to Discuss Admissibility of a Confession
Not all confessions are admissible in Calgary criminal cases. If you believe that your confession may have been involuntary or coerced, you should contact an experienced Calgary defence lawyer as soon as possible. The skilled Bourdon Defence lawyers can review the circumstances and facts surrounding your criminal charge—including your confession—and determine if there is a legal basis for challenging it. Our lawyers may also be in a position to help you assert a successful legal defence to your criminal charge, enabling you to obtain a dismissal of your case. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with an experienced criminal defence lawyer in Calgary, please call us today at (403) 474-4143, or contact us online.