confess


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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 5th 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: confession, Miranda warning, self-incrimination, Bill of Rights)

confess

verb acknowledge, acknowledge one's guilt, admit, admit guilt, bare, come forth, concede, declare, disburden one's conscience, disclose, divulge, expose, fateri, give evidence, inculpate, lay open, make a confession, make solemn affirmation, own up, purge oneself, reveal, tell all, turn state's evidence, utter, yield
Associated concepts: confess guilt, confess judgment, conness participation
Foreign phrases: Qui tacet non utique fatetur, sed tamen verum est eum non negare.He who is silent does not conness, but it is nevertheless true that he does not deny.
See also: acknowledge, admit, attest, avow, bare, betray, certify, concede, disclose, inform, recognize, reveal, verify
References in classic literature ?
"You confess to having seen the ram which Beelzebub causes to appear in the clouds to call together the witches' sabbath, and which is beheld by socerers alone?"
"Why, you said you'd keep me here until I confessed," returned Anne wearily, "and so I decided to confess because I was bound to get to the picnic.
An I rack him to death and he confess not, it will peradventure show that he had indeed naught to confess -- ye will grant that that is sooth?
I have had my doubts, I confess; but they are fainter than they were, and they may soon be entirely done away.
It was a custom introduced by this prince and his ministry (very different, as I have been assured, from the practice of former times,) that after the court had decreed any cruel execution, either to gratify the monarch's resentment, or the malice of a favourite, the emperor always made a speech to his whole council, expressing his great lenity and tenderness, as qualities known and confessed by all the world.
The essential point is that without seeing her you must believe, confess, affirm, swear, and defend it; else ye have to do with me in battle, ill-conditioned, arrogant rabble that ye are; and come ye on, one by one as the order of knighthood requires, or all together as is the custom and vile usage of your breed, here do I bide and await you relying on the justice of the cause I maintain."
I must confess I travelled more pleasantly afterwards in the deserts and vast wildernesses of Grand Tartary than here, and yet the roads here are well paved and well kept, and very convenient for travellers; but nothing was more awkward to me than to see such a haughty, imperious, insolent people, in the midst of the grossest simplicity and ignorance; and my friend Father Simon and I used to be very merry upon these occasions, to see their beggarly pride.
I have reason to believe that she appreciates the assurance, though I am bound in honesty to confess that with her the situation is a little less advanced than with the others.
As soon as he was found, Tom threw himself at his feet, and having begged a patient hearing, confessed himself to be the father of the child of which Molly was then big.
With my whole heart I say it to you--I am resolved to confess everything!"
The person to whom I addressed myself added that Justine had already confessed her guilt.
"My friend," he confessed, "for a moment I was surprised.