FAQ 07: Can police lie to me during the interrogation process?
People without experience with the criminal justice system are often amazed to the answer to this question, but, yes, the police can lie to you during an interrogation. There’s limits to it, meaning they can’t fabricate evidence to make you think that something didn’t happen for example.
But they can absolutely tell you, well your person that was arrested with you, they already confessed and said you did so you may as well come clean and we will try to help you out later with the prosecutor. They can tell you, oh you know your wife or your mother, I spoke to her and she’s just so torn up about this, she’s so embarrassed and ashamed. She just wants you to resolve this as quickly as possible, just come clean. Yes the police officers are allowed to lie to you. And that is just something to keep in mind if you should ever happen to be in an interrogation room or interrogated by the police is that what they are telling you, for better or for worse, may be a lie.
Knowing the police can lie to you is why, first of all, even without a lawyer you probably shouldn’t talk to them. But two, if you do decide to speak with them you probably want to invoke that other part of your miranda rights which is if you want an attorney, you have the right to have an attorney present. Call your attorney and get them in there because police act very differently when they know that there is someone who knows the limits of what they can do.
If the police overstep their bounds on what they can tell you, meaning they are allowed to tell you that your codefendant confessed for example, or that they are allowed to tell you that hey we found th gun and we got fingerprints off of it and they match your fingerprints. They are allowed to say that to you. Now, if they come into the room with a fingerprint card and say here it is, here’s the proof, here’s a fingerprint we took off of the gun. That is when they cross the line. That’s what, they are not allowed to do that.
If they do do something like that we can absolutely file a motion. In that example, obviously is a very simple example but yes it’s a situation where, the case may not necessarily be dismissed but we should be able to file the appropriate motion to suppress whatever statement you may have made. And keep them from using that against you, which in a lot of cases will result in a dismissal.