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confess

v. in criminal law, to voluntarily state that one is guilty of a criminal offense. This admission may be made to a law enforcement officer or in court either prior to or upon arrest, or after the person is charged with a specific crime. A confession must be truly voluntary (not forced by threat, torture, or trickery) and cannot be admitted in trial unless the defendant has been given the so-called Miranda warnings at the time of arrest or when it is clear he/she is the prime suspect, all based on the Fifth Amendment prohibition against self-incrimination. The Miranda warnings are: the right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney present and that one can be appointed, and that his/her statements may be used against the defendant in court.

See also: Bill of Rights  confession  Miranda warning  self-incrimination 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

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