June 24, 2009 By Wallin & Klarich

The California Court of Appeal recently held that incriminating statements made by a defendant, after taking a fake polygraph test, and seeing fake test results, may properly be admitted into evidence. In the present case, a defendant was questioned by police about his involvement in a shooting violent crime which lead to the death of the victim. During questioning, the defendant repeatedly stated his innocence and at numerous times asked to take a polygraph test.

After numerous requests to take a “lie detector test,” officers decided to administer a fake polygraph test. After the fake test was administered, officers told the defendant that he had failed, and that the test showed that he had lied. Upon being presented with the fake results of the fake polygraph test, the defendant then changed his story and admitted to being present at the scene at the time of the violent crime shooting.

At trial, the court held that although officers did lie to the defendant regarding the polygraph test, the incriminating statements he made thereafter could be used against him. Typically in criminal cases, involuntary statements made by a defendant cannot be used against them if it is the result of coercive police activity. The Court of Appeal agreed with the trial court, and ruled that the statements were properly admitted into evidence. The court reasoned that police deception during a custodial interrogation may, but does not necessarily, invalidate incriminating statements.

In this case, if the defendant had hired an aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney before he spoke to law enforcement, it is very likely that this deceptive police ploy would not produce the incriminating statements. Law enforcement officers use a wide range of tactics to elicit incriminating statements from suspects. The most effective way of avoiding these misleading tactics by officers is through representation by an attorney.

If you or a loved one are being investigated for a crime, or charged with a crime, it is imperative that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Hiring a skilled CA criminal defense law firm can greatly increase your chances of keeping your freedom. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been helping people keep their freedom for over 30 years.

Please feel free to contact Wallin & Klarich to discuss your case. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-280-6839 or go to our website at www.wklaw.com for more information.

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