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Are the police allowed to lie to suspects?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

When the police call someone to their offices for questioning, the person runs the risk of self-incrimination. Even those who “did nothing wrong” or “aren’t the primary suspect” could end up facing time in a Maryland state prison after questioning. The police may “secretly” investigate someone while interrogating them through a “fishing expedition” interrogation. The subject might not realize what is happening since it is legal for the police to deceive someone they decide to question.

Not understanding how the law works

Lying to the police could lead to criminal charges. Perhaps those charges may pile on top of other charges someone faces after an investigation. Making false unsworn statements to the police is a crime, but the police could make false unsworn statements with impunity. Unless the police officers are under oath, the police may deceive suspects into providing admissions of guilt and evidence.

Those assuming the police must read them their Miranda warning may not realize the police are not always under any obligations. Unless someone is under arrest or detained, the police need not point out the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and other rights.

Ultimately, many people make their criminal defense strategies more difficult after making incriminating statements. And yes, police deception may play into that result.

Representation from an attorney

Invoking the right to remain silent could keep a suspect out of potentially worse trouble. That is why so many criminal defense attorneys advise against speaking to the police. Remaining silent and refusing to undergo questioning without an attorney present could lead to a better outcome.

The right to an attorney remains a constitutional one. However, many citizens waive their rights without realizing it. The consequences could be severe ones, and consulting with an attorney when arrested or facing questioning seems wise.