WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER TAKE A LAW ENFORCEMENT POLYGRAPH
Updated: May 18
There are many criminal defense attorneys throughout Houston and across the U.S. with impressive online profiles, but many lack the actual qualifications and experience to defend clients in serious and complex cases. If you are facing serious allegations, you need an attorney with experience ! State of Texas & Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Sean Buckley is here to fight for you!
Contrary to what police investigators want you to believe, the primary purpose of the polygraph (or “lie detector”) is not to actually test whether someone is telling the truth. Instead, law enforcement agencies utilize the polygraph as tool to interrogate suspects and witnesses and intimidate them into providing additional information that can be used against them. This scheme typically involves the polygraph examiner, in a post-test interview, claiming to a test subject that they failed one or more polygraph questions. The examiner then asks the subject to provide additional information to help the examiner explain away the supposedly failed test. Such additional information may turn out to be direct or circumstantial evidence of the crime being investigated, direct or circumstantial evidence refuting a potential alibi or other defense, or anything else that could make the person look bad.
Although polygraph test results are not admissible in court, statements made to polygraph examiners are admissible against the person who made the statements. A test subject who takes the bait and attempts to explain away a “failed” polygraph is putting themselves at great peril.
If the police ask you to take a polygraph for any reason, follow their own advice and “just say no.” You have a constitutional right to keep your mouth shut and not cooperate with their investigation. If the police don’t have enough evidence to criminally charge you, you lose nothing by saying “no” to their polygraph. Remember, the police wouldn’t ask you to take their polygraph in the first place if they weren’t already suspicious of you. Don’t be naïve to think they’re really trying to do you a favor and “rule you out” as they usually claim. If you believe you would benefit from a favorable polygraph, you can always arrange to take a private polygraph arranged through your lawyer – and the test results will remain confidential unless you and your lawyer decide to disclose them.
For over two decades, Mississippi criminal defense attorney Sean Buckley has successfully defended criminal cases including winning a stunning "Not Guilty" verdict in a $120 million federal healthcare fraud conspiracy and money laundering trial, obtaining dismissals of charges in state and federal cases, and diffusing state and federal criminal investigations before criminal charges were ever filed.
Criminal Defense Attorney Sean Buckley is the lead editor of the nationally-respected O'Connor's Federal Criminal Rules & Codes (Thomson Reuters, 2010-20).
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