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Remember that the police don’t have to tell the truth

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Criminal Defense

If a police officer is asking you questions during a traffic stop or after an arrest, they may say something like “I need you to be honest with me.” There is clearly an expectation that they want you to tell them the truth. You may expect that they are also telling you the truth at the same time.

But this isn’t true. In fact, there’s no legal requirement for the police to be honest. They can lie, and they do it often. Never assume that what they are telling you is accurate. 

What is the benefit for police officers?

Why would a police officer lie to you? There are many potential reasons, but one is often just to manipulate you or to coerce a confession. For example, say that two people get arrested on conspiracy charges, with allegations that they had tried to steal from their employer. They are accused of essentially coming up with a complex embezzlement scheme that the two of them were working on together.

One suspect may be told that the other person already confessed to the entire conspiracy and provided evidence like text messages, email messages and the like. They’ll be told that the best thing for them to do is to also admit what they did wrong because then “things will go better for them.” 

But the truth is that the other person never confessed and things certainly will not be better for the suspect if they confess. The police are just trying to manipulate them into a false confession. 

This is just one example, but the main takeaway that you should remember is that the police don’t have to be honest. This is one of the reasons why it’s best to have your legal team at your side anytime you’re answering questions.