Can Police Lie When Questioning Someone?
Not only can police lie legally when questioning someone, they do it all the time; they like to talk to different people separately and try to get them to admit things by lying about the other person, and it is absolutely not illegal. This is one major reason to keep your mouth shut and not talk to police; if they are questioning you, they will do anything to get you to say whatever they can use against you.
For example, in one of my cases, someone was being investigated for a DUI and the police officer told them they were filming everything, including their field sobriety tests, but they promised they would never use the video in a court of law, but the prosecutor used it as evidence anyway. I objected because I felt it was not right, since the officer promised that it would not be used in the court of law, but the judge decided it was allowed and said he could do that; this is something people should be aware of.
Police can lie to try and prompt someone into confessing to something or making an incriminating statement. In bigger cases they often threaten people with taking their kids or turning them over to DCFS, hoping that the threat of never seeing their kids again will make them make a statement. Unfortunately, when they do that, they may as well have a noose around their neck, and they have no one to blame but themselves.
Police play people all the time, and they get people to do things that work against them, when they should simply remain silent and only speak to their attorney, not police, even when the police threaten them or worse. There is never an obligation to speak to police; the first thing anyone should do when police insist on questioning them is to call their attorney and let them know, so the attorney can speak to them on your behalf and prevent disaster.
Police will often try to keep the attorney out of the picture, because it’s not in their best interests, so they will often tell someone their attorney just wants to make money, but the fact is, they know that having an attorney on your side means police won’t be able to ask questions and coerce you into the answers they want. I was a prosecutor for 5 years before I started defending people for the last 31, so I can tell you, unless someone gets the defendant to make a statement or an admission, at least half of all cases are not provable.
Police in a DUI case will push hard to get the person to admit to something, but the person shouldn’t even admit they were driving; they should admit to nothing and demand to speak to their attorney. They should clarify that they were not trying to be rude, but they understand their rights and they want to invoke their right to an attorney.
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