Police lights

When Can the Cops Lie to You?

By Joel Hancock

We expect our police officers to do the right thing. That’s why we expect that they must always be honest when you ask them a question. However, this isn’t always the case. While there are times when a police officer is obligated to answer your question honestly, there are also many different situations in which they are legally allowed to lie to you directly or by omission. Police officers can even lie about being a cop when they are investigating a potential criminal act. To put it simply, there are many different topics on which they are legally permitted to give you misleading information.

What Are Your Legal Rights?

First thing’s first: it’s imperative that you know your rights. A police officer must always inform you of your rights before conducting a custodial interview or interrogation. These rights, also referred to as your “Miranda rights”, include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. This is important to understand because it means that if a police officer interrogates you while you are in custody without first advising you of these rights, anything that you say during this conversation may be suppressed in a court of law – even an admission. 

What Do Cops Commonly Lie About?

But although police officers are required to tell you about your legal rights, they don’t have to be honest when telling you about the evidence in your case. Rather, a police officer can legally lie to you regarding the type or amount of evidence that he or she has on you. In other words, he can tell you that they have the gun that was used in an alleged homicide – even if they have no idea where it is. This is done for the purpose of pressuring you into making a confession. 

Unfortunately, sometimes people even confess to things that they didn’t do because the pressure is so great. Therefore, before you respond to any questions asked of you, it’s in your best interest to request an attorney. Just be sure to state that you want an attorney rather than that you think you should have one. If you state the latter, you haven’t officially invoked your right to an attorney, and what you say after that can still be used against you. 

Police also commonly lie about witnesses. They may say that they have witnesses and/or video surveillance of the incident even when they have absolutely nothing of the sort. Again, this is a tactic they use in order to try to evoke a confession from you. 

The Attorneys at Hancock Law Firm, PLLC Help Those in North Carolina Who Have Been Accused of a Crime

It can be incredibly scary to be accused of a crime, and even more frightening to learn that you are going to be prosecuted under the criminal justice system. Not only the outcome of the case, but the experience itself can have a major impact on your life. That is why it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we fully understand what is at stake and will do everything that we can to help you to fight these charges and obtain the best possible outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
Joel Hancock is a native of Carteret County, NC. He devotes 100% of his practice to defending those accused of traffic infractions, DWI, misdemeanors, and felonies in Carteret County, NC.