Citizens can be charged with a misdemeanor for lying to a police officer. They may even be charged with perjury if they lie under oath during official proceedings. Are there consequences for police lying to citizens? Let’s discuss whether or not police officers are allowed to lie while conducting an investigation.
When Police Are Allowed to Lie
There are a few main instances during which the police are allowed to lie to citizens and potential suspects.
- About evidence: The police are allowed to tell people that they have already collected evidence against them, and exaggerate how strong the evidence is.
- About having witnesses: The police are also allowed to lie and tell suspects that they have people who witnessed them committing a crime.
- About warrants: Police officers are allowed to fib and say they can quickly obtain a warrant, so you might as well let them in to conduct a search. While it doesn’t take long to get a search warrant, this lie is usually told when the police know they don’t have solid enough evidence to obtain one.
- Promises about sentencing: The police may try to persuade you to cooperate by promising a lighter sentence. However, the police have no final say in sentencing.
One of the main goals that the police have is to get the suspect to admit to a crime, or divulge information that will incriminate them. Therefore, they are able to lie in order to get a confession or other useful information out of someone.
Unfortunately, innocent individuals hear these false statements and may begin to panic, thinking they are about to be convicted of a crime they did not commit. When faced with this complicated situation, some individuals choose to confess to crimes even when they are innocent.
Use Your Right to Remain Silent
Now that you know the police are allowed to lie to you, it’s important you also know how to use your right to remain silent. Most people are unaware that, under some circumstances, your choice to remain silent can be used against you. If you do not explicitly state that you are using your right to remain silent, prosecutors may bring up your silence as a sign of guilt during a trial. Therefore, it’s crucial that you firmly state you are invoking your right to remain silent.
Your Right to an Attorney
It’s also crucial that you use your right to legal defense. A seasoned criminal defense attorney is aware of the tactics that the police and prosecutors use to garner information and confessions from people, and can help protect you throughout your case. At Law Offices of Randy Collins, we have helped numerous individuals maintain their freedom after being faced with significant criminal penalties. If you have recently been arrested or have a pending case, please don’t hesitate to contact Law Offices of Randy Collins today.