Miranda Waiver/Validity of Confession
These related issues are arguably brought up considerably less often than they might be. Miranda waiver evaluations focus upon the extent to which a defendant knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily gave up his Miranda rights (e.g., the right to remain silent) and talked to police. Should the court find that Miranda was not appropriately waived, a statement or confession given to police might be excluded from consideration in court. Additionally, psychological research has demonstrated that it is not necessarily difficult to coerce inaccurate confessions, whether deliberately or inadvertently. Confessions necessarily constitute damning evidence in court, regardless of whether or not they are truthful. Forensic psychological evaluations can examine characteristics of the individual and situation that might bear upon the validity of a confession.