We are raised to believe that the police are the “good guys.” We are raised to believe that the police would never do anything wrong. While this is true for the most part, there are times when the police are not 100 percent honest. In the case of somebody being arrested, dishonesty can lead to major problems. Clients often ask…
Can Police Lie?
“I thought police offers are not permitted to lie, but the officer lied to me about statements made by a co-defendant in order to get me to confess. Is this legal?”
This is a common complaint that seems to come up time after time, from one side of the United States to the next.
Unfortunately, the question of whether or not police officers can lie does not have a “cut and dry” answer.
Generally speaking, when investigating a case a police officer is legally permitted to lie as a means of obtaining an incriminating statement. This may not be fair in the eyes of the accused, but it is the way the law works.
Of course, there is another question to consider. Is a police officer allowed to lie in a legal document, such as an affidavit of probable cause filed with the court? The answer is simple: absolutely not.
The police do not have the right to physically abuse you as a means of obtaining a confession. With all this in mind, they are legally permitted to “trick” you. This could be as simple as saying: we have several witnesses who saw you commited the crime. Why don’t you just admit to it right now?
With so much uncertainty, it can be difficult to know which steps to take upon being arrested. On one side of things, you want to cooperate with police as much as possible. On the other side, there is nothing worse than being tricked into saying the wrong thing.
For this reason, the best thing you can do is invoke your Miranda Rights and refuse to answer any questions without the presence of an attorney. It is within your rights to continually repeat this to the police until you have the chance to speak with an attorney about how to answer questions, while also devising a strategy for moving forward.
Do you feel that your rights have been violated? If so, contact a professional criminal defense lawyer at PKN Law for a free consultation.