Can The Police Lie To You During An Interrogation Regarding A Los Angeles Crime?
A lot of people come to me and say hey, the police lied to me. I don’t think that’s fair. They ended up getting a confession out of me and the confession should be thrown out because they lied to me. The bottom line is, and I say it a lot all the time for twenty-five years, the police are in the competitive business of ferreting out crime and they can do what’s necessary – obviously within the bounds of the law – to do that. That’s something that the former late Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice, said about that ferreting out crime part. So, yes. They can lie to you and they lie all the time.
I deal with the police lying either on the witness stand or lying to my clients and nobody likes it. It’s not fair. But the bottom line is, they can do that as they attempt to get a confession or try to get evidence during a criminal case. Now, how does that play with Miranda would probably be the next question. Miranda has to do with when you’re in custody and the police start asking you direct question – especially in a police-dominated environment like a police station, in the back of a police car, etc. – they have to read you your Miranda rights. They have to give you the right to an attorney. They have to give you the right to remain silent and if they tell you if you can’t afford an attorney, you’re entitled to get one – so all of those Miranda rights apply. They have to give those to you as long as you’re in custody and being asked questions.
That doesn’t have anything to do with whether they lie to you. I had a big murder case and got a not guilty verdict on a Norwalk. They lied to my client in the interrogation. They said look, we have video footage of you shooting and killing the victim. We just want to know why you did it. So, that’s something we talk about all the time – about the police lying – and sometimes they are very successful with that and they get the defendant to admit things. Other times they can’t. Sometimes we can turn that lie around on them and say look, they lied to the guy and told him something and he still didn’t admit the crime because he’s innocent.
So, that’s one of the biggest tactics of the police is to lie to people and they have all kinds of effective ways to do that. Another lie that I see them take is when they grab two defendants in a case. They say, hey look, your buddy just said that you’re the one that planned the whole crime. We don’t know if we believe that. We want to hear your version of events. Now you have friends or crimes telling on each other and that just killed both of them and they both end up getting convicted for the crime. So, that’s another lie that they will perpetrate on people – telling people they have video of the crime is a good one that they hit them with. Telling that witnesses have identified them. All sorts of things. Telling them they have phone records, wiretaps for example with them indicating incriminating things is another tactics that they use.
So, they can lien and it really just depends on the circumstance, how effective the lie can be and whether or not there’s some angle that the criminal defense attorney can take to use that lie to either up-end the case by way of some motion or Miranda issue, or to use that lie to show that the police are not playing fair. They’re not doing the right thing in the case, and if the police are necessary in order to get that conviction, the police’s credibility and the police’s as percipient witnesses, those lies can sometimes come back to haunt the police as well.
So, if you have a case where the police lied to you or a loved one and you’re concerned about it and you want to get some advice about it, come in and sit down with me. We’ll go over everything. I’ll give you my twenty-five years of experience. We’ll talk about the case and we’ll make a decision as to whether the lie is just good police work or whether it’s something we can capitalize on to use to get your loved one off the case or get you off the case because of how the police handled the investigation and the lack of credibility.
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