How To Deal With The Fact The Cops Can Lie To You But You Can’t Lie To Them

In the world of criminal defense, there are few challenges more troublesome than lying. Some folks are astonished to learn that investigators are allowed to lie to suspects, witnesses, and other parties. Less astonishing, though, is the fact you can't lie to the cops. Worse, police and prosecutors are the ones who decide whether someone has lied to them.

How do you deal with the cops having such an unbalanced advantage in criminal law? If you need to navigate this potential minefield, try to stay aware of these four issues as you deal with the police.

The 5th Amendment and Your Right to Remain Silent

You don't have to tell the cops anything, especially if your response might incriminate you. Thanks to the modern interpretation of the 5th Amendment, you have the right to remain silent. Use it. Tell any cop who wants to speak with you that you are invoking your right to remain silent at least until you've had the chance to speak with a criminal attorney.


Make use of your right to counsel. Hire a lawyer even if the cops are acting like you're a witness and not a suspect. Good people go to jail because the cops decide they were part of something bad, and the odds go up when folks don't have counsel. A lawyer can listen to what the cops have to say and then tell you which questions to answer.

Never Give the Benefit of the Doubt

Assume the worst about the police. Even if you know a particular cop well and trust them, you can't give them the benefit of the doubt. Your freedom is on the line.

Avoid Buying into the Cops' Narrative

Police officers often minimize how bad the situation is. After all, they just want to ask you a couple of questions, right? How bad can that be?

The cops might even go further and say you're not a suspect. Except, the cops can lie to suspects about what's going on. An officer might say a suspect is a witness just to soften their response to being interviewed.

Never buy into the police narrative. If the cops want to gab at you about a case, let them. However, don't join in on the conversation. If they loosen you up, perhaps by talking about other stuff and then switching back to their investigation, stop talking the minute you realize what happened. Re-invoke your right to remain silent and continue to insist on having a criminal attorney present before you might answer any questions.

For more information, contact a company like Hart Law Offices, PC.