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Can a police officer lie during an interrogation? 

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

After an arrest, police officers and other members of the police department may interrogate a suspect. This interrogation is part of the process of gathering evidence for the case. Officers may ask that person to tell their side of the story or answer specific questions like where they were at a certain time, what they were doing, who they talked to and other things of this nature.

During this process, the suspect may assume that the police officers have to be honest. But are they actually allowed to lie?

Honesty is not required

The truth is that police officers are often not required to be honest. They can directly lie to suspects. In many cases, they do this intentionally.

For instance, lying can be used as a form of manipulation. If the officer wants to get someone to confess, they may lie and say that the entire crime is on video or that another suspect already testified against them. This manipulation is aimed at getting the person to talk, even if the officer doesn’t actually have any other evidence of the crime at all.

Often, manipulation has been used against younger offenders. They may be told things about the laws that they don’t understand, such as being told that all the charges will be dropped if they just admit to what they did. This can sometimes lead to false confessions, where people admit to crimes that they never committed. 

But regardless of a person’s age, this shows why it’s important for them to understand their legal rights – and especially their right to legal representation during an interrogation.