Reeder & Brown, P.C.


How Police Errors Can Lead to False Arrests

 Posted on June 29, 2023 in Criminal Law

Joliet Criminal LawyerWhenever a crime is committed, it is the police who are entrusted with arresting the perpetrator of that crime in order to ensure the community is protected. However, there are far too many investigations where errors are made and the wrong individual is accused. The repercussions of these police errors can be profound, leading to the erosion of an individual’s rights, misidentification of suspects, compromised evidence, and ultimately, a tainted criminal case.

Misidentification and False Accusations

One of the most consequential mistakes made by the police is misidentifying a suspect. Eyewitness misidentification is a well-documented issue, where witnesses may inaccurately identify a person due to flawed memory or suggestive police procedures. These errors can lead to innocent people being wrongfully accused, arrested, and charged with crimes they did not commit. In many of these cases, especially for those defendants who do not have a seasoned criminal lawyer defending them, they are found guilty.

Tainted Evidence and Violation of Rights

Police mistakes can result in the mishandling or contamination of evidence. This may occur due to negligence, lack of proper training, or intentional misconduct. Regardless of why these incidents occur, the integrity of the evidence can be compromised, raising questions about its admissibility in court. Violations of constitutional rights, such as unlawful searches or seizures, can render evidence inadmissible under the exclusionary rule, thus weakening the prosecution's case.

Coerced Confessions

Interrogation techniques employed by the police are a critical factor in extracting confessions. However, when these techniques cross ethical boundaries, innocent individuals may confess to crimes they did not commit. Coercion, intimidation, or even physical abuse can result in false confessions, making it challenging to establish the truth. The impact on the defendant's credibility and the subsequent difficulty of discrediting the confession can significantly affect the outcome of the case.

Tunnel Vision and Confirmation Bias

Another common mistake is the development of tunnel vision during investigations, where law enforcement officers become fixated on a particular suspect or theory, neglecting alternative explanations or leads. This tunnel vision can lead to confirmation bias, where evidence supporting the preferred theory is given undue weight, while contradictory evidence is overlooked or dismissed. Such biases can cloud objectivity, hinder the pursuit of the truth, and potentially result in wrongful convictions.

Contact a Will County Criminal Law Attorney

Police mistakes have far-reaching implications in criminal cases, affecting the lives of individuals, the credibility of evidence, and the overall integrity of the justice system. If you have been accused of a crime, do not delay in contacting a Joliet, IL defense lawyer from Reeder & Brown, P.C.. Call 815-885-5980 to schedule a free consultation and make sure your rights are protected.


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