Sometimes, I have clients come in who are adamant that they are not guilty and they will state ” I’ll take a polygraph that will prove I’m innocent! ”
A polygraph is a nice name for a lie detector test, and most people think they can ‘beat the test’ even if they are guilty. And sometimes, they really aren’t guilty of this particular accusation so they think they’re safe in taking the test.
The problem is that a polygraph has been proved to be ‘inherently unreliable’ and cannot be used in court. It doesn’t really prove anything.
That part is fine. What isn’t fine is that any statements you make during the interviews before or after taking the polygraph CAN be admitted into court.
Most of the time, the person taking the polygraph isn’t in custody, they came into the office to take the polygraph on their own and they are free to leave at any time, so the authorities don’t really need to issue any Miranda warnings, and they can ‘chat’ about anything.
Also, people use lie detector tests in cases other than criminal. For example, sometimes people will be accused of adultery in a divorce case and they will agree to a polygraph to ‘prove’ they didn’t have an affair with someone.
My advice? If you are ever in a position where you think you might want to take a polygraph to prove you’re innocent, just say no…..or at least contact an attorney and have the attorney with you when you go to take the test. The attorney may be able to stop you from answering an ‘innocent’ question that might end up getting you into real trouble.
If you have questions about this or any other legal topic, please feel free to contact us at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at www.BeaversLaw.com.