Posts Tagged ‘Police’

Can a policeman lie?

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

The short answer is ‘yes’, a policeman (or policeperson) can — and often does– lie to you during their investigation.  Of course, if they are under oath and on the stand in a courtroom, they are required to tell the truth.  But I am talking about during the investigation phase.  That time when they are asking you questions usually at the police station.

Sometimes, the policeman will tell you that someone in another room has already told them everything and they are giving you an opportunity to tell your side of it so that they can talk to the prosecutor and help you get a better deal.  Sometimes they will tell you that they have evidence that they really don’t have.  I’ve listened to tapes where the same policeman went to four different rooms and told each one of the potential defendants that he already knew everything — when in reality he had not gotten information from anyone.

Remember that during the investigation, it is the policeman’s job to get the information needed to help get a conviction.  If they are talking to you in an interview room, they are not trying to be your friend!

So what should you do?  The police officer will probably read you what are called ‘Miranda’ rights.  These include the ‘right to remain silent, and anything that you say can and will be used against you in a court of law’  and the ‘right to an attorney and have that attorney present during questioning, if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you’.  Once you have been read these rights you need to tell the officer ‘I want to talk to my attorney before I speak with you’, and then be quiet.

Don’t say, ‘do you think I need an attorney’? or ‘maybe I should talk to an attorney’.  Very clearly say, ‘I want to talk to my attorney before I speak with you’. and then be quiet and say nothing else.

The policeman will probably tell you that they can’t help you if  you refuse to talk to them, but stick to your statement and wait to speak to your attorney before you talk to them.  This might mean you will spend the night in jail until you can have an attorney appointed for you, but that is much better than having you say something that can be used against you later.

If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at

Don’t people watch TV anymore????

Monday, September 27th, 2010

I like to watch TV.  I admit it.  I watch a lot of different types of shows, but Law and Order _____ (fill in the blank) and CSI _____ (fill in the blank) and just about every other law enforcement/lawyer/spy show that is around are among my favorites.

They are all a little different, but they all have one thing in common.  They should all teach you that if you are ever arrested, you should say “I want a lawyer” and then you SHUT UP!

Do you know what ‘The Closer’ does when someone says they want a lawyer?  She walks out of the room!

These shows also teach you that police-persons sometimes lie.   The Police-person will tell you that ‘I can’t help you unless you tell me the truth’, but that is a ploy to get you to tell them what you did (and yes, it is legal for them to lie to you).

We get clients all the time that want us to find a way to get them declared innocent of some criminal offense, or help them with a plea bargain, but they’ve already made a confession, or a number of confessions.

I had a client tell me that the only reason he confessed is that they kept asking him questions for 4 hours.  First of all, any mother of a sick infant could do 4 hours of police questioning ‘standing on her head’.  Secondly, if you had asked for a lawyer at the beginning, there would not have been four hours of questioning.

Going into court for a client who has already confessed to the crime is like playing a world-series baseball game….only you start in the 9th inning with 2 outs, 2 strikes against you and you’ve never seen this pitcher before.   The odds are really stacked against you.

Please don’t misunderstand my motives.  I think criminals should be tried and they should get the punishment they deserve.  And I think that the police and prosecutors should do everything they need to do to convict the guilty.  But I also think that the laws are there for a reason and if someone has given you your ‘Miranda’ warnings, you should listen and take advantage of them.

So, I”m going to say something most mothers never say.   Maybe we should watch more TV!