When you have an encounter with a police officer, you may assume they have to be honest with you. After all, you know that you are expected to be honest about certain things, such as providing proper identification during a traffic stop. Lying about your identity or other details could lead to charges or accusations of obstruction of justice.
But does this work both ways? Does that officer have to be as honest with you as you have to be with them?
The police can lie in many situations.
It is not true that the police have to be honest, but they actually can lie to you in a lot of different situations. Historically, this psychological trick was often used on young offenders, but it could be used on anyone.
Many times, this will happen when they are trying to get you to confess to something or give them information they are looking for. They could tell you they already have evidence proving your guilt, for example. Maybe they claim to have a statement from someone else who was at the scene, or maybe they claim to have found evidence in your car. Even if they do not actually have any evidence – or if that evidence does not exist – they may still say this in an effort to get you to admit that you are guilty.
Moving forward carefully
Never assume that the police are being honest with you, even if they claim they are. Lying during interrogations does happen fairly frequently. That’s why it’s important to understand all of your legal options and not to speak to the police alone.