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Can the police lie to you?

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Police officers are supposed to uphold the law – and you may have been raised to trust an officer’s word.

Unfortunately, that could put you at a serious disadvantage if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re being investigated in connection with a crime. Police officers can and will lie to you if they think twisting the truth will get them the confession they need – and doing so is broadly legal, with only a few exceptions.

What sort of lies can the police tell you?

While the police can lie to you in all kinds of different ways, it’s important to remember that every lie they tell is designed to either make you lower your guard or think that it’s pointless to do anything but confess. With that in mind, some of the most common lies suspects here include:

  • “This conversation is off the record.” It most certainly is not. Everything you say can and will be used against you later in court if it has any value to the prosecution.
  • “The only way to help yourself is to cooperate.” It’s the prosecutor who has the power to cut a deal and the court controls your sentence. The police officer in the room with you can’t give you a break.
  • “We have your DNA, fingerprints, hair or other genetic evidence at the scene of the crime.” The odds are very high that they don’t have anything concrete and are just speculating about what evidence they might hav. This is especially true if the crime is recent. It can take a long time to get genetic evidence tested, but the police are counting on the fact you don’t know that.
  • “Your buddy already confessed, and they’re pointing at you.” The police are probably telling your friend the same thing, hoping to foster fear and distrust between you so that one of you starts talking.

One thing the police cannot lie to you about is the fact that you have the right to remain silent – so exercise that right until you can obtain legal guidance and fully explore your defense options if you’re ever placed under arrest.

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