Our Tacoma Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Exculpatory Statements

Monday, November 16th, 2015

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Tacoma Criminal Defense LawyerIf you have been accused of committing a crime, our Tacoma criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you. Exculpatory statements are used as evidence of innocence, while false exculpatory statements are evidence of guilt. Exculpatory statements as evidence of innocence that are introduced by a Tacoma criminal defense attorney are determined inadmissible hearsay. However, some hearsay exceptions may allow for the admissibility of the statement.

Hearsay Exceptions

  • The excited utterance exception applies to statements made immediately under the influence of a surprising event, such as an officer opening one of the defendant’s personal belongings to find an illegal item. If you were the defendant in this case and blurted out, “That isn’t mine,” your statement would be admissible.
  • The present sense impression exception involves a statement describing an event that you made shortly after witnessing the event.
  • The then existing mental, emotional or physical condition exception applies to a statement you made describing your current physical or mental condition at the time.

Protestations of innocence made in the face of significant incentives to admit guilt, including offers of immunity, may also be used as evidence of your consciousness of innocence.

False Exculpatory Statements as Evidence of Guilt

After being confronted by the police, many people tell stories that exculpate them but can be proven false when it comes to the details. These false statements are admissible as evidence of your consciousness of guilt. The prosecution is allowed to explain to the jury why they should infer guilt from a false exculpatory statement. In some ways, false exculpatory statements are more powerful indicators of guilt than confession and may hold more sway with the jury than a statement of innocence. A jury may doubt that the confession was made if your attorney succeeds in undermining the credibility of the questioning officer. Most juries listen to the prosecutor’s argument and determine that the officer accurately described a false exculpatory statement on the grounds that an officer who was fabricating evidence would also create a confession. Criminal defense attorneys should not underestimate how powerful a false exculpatory statement is when evaluating a case. The best way to respond to a false exculpatory statement is to show that you were confused at the time or that you had some motive other than concealing your guilt to lie to the arresting officers. This may include lying about the course of your income because it came from some unrelated illegal activity.

Contact a Tacoma Criminal Defense Lawyer

Call Greene & Lloyd, PLLC today at (253) 770-0808 to work with a Tacoma criminal defense attorney you can trust.


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