Privilege Against Self-Incrimination

Silence by Johann Heinrich F├╝ssli
(1741 - 1825) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Police arrested Tiffany Carpenter, who allegedly confessed to beating her aunt with a pipe wrench, according to courierpostonline.com.

Before a confession may be used, the State must prove the police informed the individual of her rights, and that s‎he knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waived them‎.

These warnings negate perceptions related to psychological stress in police-controlled circumstances that might compel a person to ‎speak where she would not have spoken otherwise.

New Jersey law is broader than federal law.

  • BURDERN OF PROOF: New Jersey law requires the Prosecutor to prove waiver beyond a reasonable doubt. Federal law only requires proof or waiver by a preponderance of the evidence.
  • KNOWING CONFESSIONS: State law requires the police to inform suspects when there is already a criminal ‎complaint and arrest warrant. Federal law does not impose this notice requirement.
  • ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK: New Jersey courts consider waiver based on the totality of circumstances. Federal courts apply a bright line rule.
Jurists and scholars may fairly characterize this distinction between New Jersey and Federal law as "Horizontal Federalism" within the context of New Judicial Federalism. New Jersey courts, however, march in lockstep with federal courts as to standing.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding the privilege against self-incrimination.

Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Click "New Judicial Federalism," labeled in the post footer, for more examples and explanations about this topic.