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Can The Police Lie To You?


When the police are questioning a criminal suspect, the suspect is expected to tell the truth, and as a criminal suspect, it is in your best interest to avoid lying to the police. But what about the police? Can the police lie to you?

The police can lie to criminal suspects, and it happens often. When you are being questioned by the police, you must always keep in mind that the police might be lying. Often, the police lie to young people, but they can lie to anyone. Usually, the police lie to get confessions from a criminal suspect or evidence they can use against the suspect.

Is It Legal for the Police To Lie to You?

So now that you know the police can and often do lie to criminal suspects, you may be wondering if it is legal for the police to lie to suspects. It is against the law for the police to use physical force during interrogations. However, it is almost always legal for the police to lie or use other psychological tricks to get confessions or evidence from criminal suspects. A Senate Bill (Senate Bill 324) was introduced in New York that aims to ban police deceptions in the interrogation room, but the bill is yet to pass the Senate and the Assembly and get signed into law.

Lying to people can be quite effective for the police. Police lies can terrorize and pressure a person into confessing they committed a crime, even if they didn’t commit the crime.

What Lies Do the Police Tell?

The police tell countless lies during interrogations, but some lies are more common than others. The following are some of the common lies police tell during interrogations;

  • That they have incriminating evidence against a suspect
  • That an alleged co-defendant or friend has confessed
  • Lies about the severity of the sentence
  • That they have an eyewitness who witnessed the crime being committed
  • That they can get a search warrant
  • That the conversation is “off the record.”

Lies about having evidence against a suspect have long been identified as a top cause of false confessions. Lies about having evidence have contributed to some of the most notorious wrongful convictions.

What Should You Do?

If you are under criminal investigation, it is crucial that you remember your right to stay silent and your right to a defense attorney. It’s best that you avoid answering police questions during interrogations without your attorney present. When the police begin questioning you in the absence of your defense attorney, politely decline to answer their questions and ask that they only question you with your attorney present.

Under no circumstances should you give the police false statements. The police are allowed to lie to you, but you are not allowed to lie to the police. Making false statements to the police not only helps the police build a stronger case against you, but it is a crime. If you lie to the police, you can face additional criminal charges.

Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are under criminal investigation and need the help of an experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney, contact the NYC criminal defense attorney, Mark I. Cohen, Esq., at 212-732-0002.



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