Difference Between Admission and Confession

Main Difference – Admission and Confession

Admission and Confession are two very important words in the legal context. Both words refer to the acknowledgment of the truth of something. However, admission is a statement made by a person acknowledging something as truth while confession is a statement acknowledging that one is guilty of a crime. The main difference between admission and confession is that admission is a statement acknowledging the truth of something while confession is a formal acknowledgement that one is guilty of a crime. By this definition, we can summarize that all confessions are admissions, but not all admissions are confessions.

What is an Admission

Admission is a general statement acknowledging the truth of something. Admission does not necessarily have to be an acknowledgment of guilt. For example, imagine a situation where a suspect of a crime offers to compensate the victim. In a legal context, this is not considered as a confession, but an admission. The legal definition of admission is “a voluntary acknowledgment made by a party to a lawsuit or in a criminal prosecution that certain facts that are inconsistent with the party’s claims in the controversy are true.”

In general usage, a person can make an admission about his feelings, his knowledge or any other facts. For example, a person can admit that he is not very good at a certain subject. Here, admission refers to simply acknowledging or accepting something as true.

Difference Between Admission and Confession

What is a Confession

A confession is a formal statement accepting that one is guilty of a crime. The legal definition of the term is “a statement by which an individual acknowledges his or her guilt in the commission of a crime.” Here, the suspect accepts the personal responsibility for committing a crime. This is the major difference between admission and confession. In Legalese, confession is always associated with criminal cases and confessions are made by the accused, not other parties.

In addition, this word is used in a general sense as well. However, the meaning of the word does not change much in this usage. A person makes a confession when he is guilty of something, be it a crime or an immoral act like adultery or drunkenness. Confessions are often associated with feelings like shame and embarrassment.

Moreover, in Christianity, confession also refers to a formal admission of one’s sins with repentance and need for absolution to a priest. This is considered as a religious duty.

Main difference -Admission and Confession

Difference Between Admission and Confession


Confession is a formal statement admitting that one is guilty of a crime.

Admission is a statement acknowledging the truth of something


All confessions may be recognized as admissions.

All admissions are not confessions.


A confession must be made by accused.

An admission can be made from any of the parties of the civil suit.

Type of Case

Confession is used in Criminal cases.

Admission is used in Civil matters.



admission. (n.d.) West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. (2008). 

confession. (n.d.) West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. (2008). 

Image Courtesy:

“Man confessing their sins” by The Photographer – Own work.  (CC0) via Wikimedia Commons

“Witness impeachment” by Eric Chan from Palo Alto, United States – Cropped from the original, “please follow along silently as I read aloud.”. (CC BY 2.0) via Wikimedia Commons

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