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Can the Police Lie in Arizona?

You are NOT supposed to lie to the police. If you’re caught lying during a criminal investigation or a criminal prosecution, you can face serious criminal charges. But, what about the police? Are they allowed to use lies and deception to coax confessions out of suspects? History has proven repeatedly that police officers, detectives and other members of law enforcement are not above lying to extract information from suspects.

Legally, police are allowed to lie during a criminal investigation. Often, the police will lie about the evidence they have against a suspect, or they’ll lie about another person’s statements against the suspect, or they’ll lie about the strength of their case. For example, a detective can say to a suspect, “Your buddy Joe over here turned you in. He gave us enough to send you to prison for a very long time,” when Joe didn’t utter a word!

What Do I Do If I’m Questioned by the Police?

Depending on how you handle stress, it can be very intimidating to be questioned by the police, especially if you’re on the suspect list. We hope and expect the police to be honest and treat us fairly, but that’s not necessarily the case when they use lies and deceit to fool us into saying or doing things we wouldn’t normally do if we had all the facts. That said, the best way to avoid falling victim to the police’s deceitful tactics is to invoke your rights:

  • Invoke your right to remain silent. If you don’t want to answer the police’s questions, tell them you wish to remain silent.
  • In the absence of a warrant, you have the right to say “no” to a search of your home, your vehicle, or your body. However, the police may “pat you down” if they suspect you have a weapon.
  • If the police are asking you questions, ask, “Am I under arrest?” If not, you have the right to leave in a calm fashion.
  • If you are arrested, you have a right to a defense attorney. If arrested, “lawyer-up” immediately.

If you are stopped or brought in for questioning, be calm and polite. Don’t run, don’t yell or argue, and don’t resist or do anything that would be construed as obstructing the police, even if you are 100% innocent and the police are being dishonest.

Ask, “Am I free to leave?” If the officer says yes, stay calm and quietly leave. If you’re under arrest, find out why. You have the right to remain silent, but make sure you say it aloud. Of course, the sooner you contact a criminal defense lawyer, the better.

Being questioned by the police? As a former prosecutor, Attorney Josh Davidson is prepared to protect your rights to the fullest extent of the law. Contact us 24/7 for a free consultation. We are on your side!