Conway Schadler

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Can the police lie to me?

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Uncategorized |

Most people In Pennsylvania understand that they cannot lie to the police. According to state law, it is a crime to falsify information during a police investigation. Knowingly making false statements to law enforcement professionals can lead to criminal charges and can potentially increase someone’s risk of a conviction when they face accusations of criminal activity.

A reasonable person might therefore expect that there is a similar standard imposed on police officers. They may expect officers to be honest and forthright during investigations, only to learn the hard way that the same rules do not apply to law enforcement professionals as to the people subject to investigations. In general, police officers can lie to members of the general public and anyone who is the subject of an ongoing investigation as part of their attempt to resolve a criminal matter.

What lies do police officers often tell?

There are certain types of fabrications and falsehoods that are quite common during Pennsylvania criminal investigations. Police officers sometimes tell people suspected of involvement in criminal activity that other people involved in the same scheme have already confessed.

They might claim that a witness identified an individual as the suspect who broke the law. They might even claim to have evidence that the state has not procured, such as genetic evidence or fingerprints tying someone to the scene of a crime.

Other times, police officers lie by misrepresenting their intentions. They tell someone they want to rule them out as a suspect or that they can promise lenient sentencing if an individual cooperates by confessing or implicating others. As a general rule, police officers do not have the authority to enter into binding plea arrangements or to waive penalties associated with a particular offense.

Only prosecutors can reduce the charges that an individual faces, and judges typically have the final say regarding the sentence imposed for a conviction. Most people have no way of knowing when a police officer may lie to them, and officers often go to great lengths to build a sense of trust with an individual to trick them into making a mistake.

Those subject to a police investigation or facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania may need support while communicating with police officers and asserting their rights. Partnering with a criminal defense attorney can help people avoid falling victim to common police tactics, such as lying during questioning.