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December 11, 2009

Westchester County Police Interviews

By Michael H. Joseph

As a White Plains Criminal Defense Lawyer I handle a fair amount of sex crimes in Westchester County. To successfully prosecute a sex crime, corroboration is required and normally an accusation without more is not sufficient to convict.

The Westchester County Police and some the local Police have become very aggressive in getting confessions. We have observed that the police are doing interviews in which they suggest that certain answers will help our clients, then they turn on a recording device. The initial promises and sometimes threats and practice sessions are not on the recording. We recently found one instance where the tapes themselves were edited and were missing information.

If you are arrested and facing sexual assault charges based on a taped confession in Westchester, it is advisable to have the tapes reviewed by a forensic professional as you may find discontinuities which will support a claim that the confession was obtained improperly.

We have also argued that when these issues arise, the defense has a right to the technical information concerning the making of the recording and the mechanics of the recording system. These new police tactics require Westchester criminal defense attorneys to be especially vigilant in handling cases where there was a taped statement.

Michael Joseph is a New York and Westchester criminal defense attorney who regularly defends sex cases in White Plains and New York City.

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