Lie Detector Tests
Many defendants who have been accused of felony or misdemeanor offenses often inquire about lie detector tests and whether taking one may aid in their defense. These tests, also known as polygraph tests, can be controversial as experts disagree about how effective they are. However, there may be circumstances where someone who has been charged with or is under investigation for a criminal offense may want to take a polygraph test. If you are considering taking a lie detector test, it is very important that you first consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney who has worked with top polygraph administrators in the past and understands how best to handle this avenue of defense.
A polygraph is an electrical device that can measure minute changes in an individual’s pulse, breathing, blood pressure and perspiration. Studies have shown that telling a lie is a stressor that will cause an individual to experience certain biological reactions associated with stress. If the individual tested shows signs of stress when answering certain questions, this may be an indication that he or she is not being truthful.
Many experts disagree about how accurate the polygraph test really is. Some believe that the polygraph test can determine whether someone is lying 90 percent of time. However, others have suggested that this number is far lower; and that the test is only 60 percent accurate. Some people may suffer from anxiety or may find the testing process to be extremely stressful and may appear to be untruthful on a polygraph when in fact they are telling the truth.
Because of the uncertainties regarding lie detector tests, these tests are considered inadmissible as evidence unless both the prosecution and the defense agree that the test results can be admitted. This rule also applies to the opinion of a polygraph examiner and whether or not a defendant refused to take a test when offered or offered to take a test.
Even though polygraph tests are usually not admissible in court, this does not stop the prosecution or defense from using these tests. It is not unusual for prosecutors or defense attorneys to have defendants or witnesses voluntarily take lie detector tests. If the prosecution does have polygraph tests conducted on witnesses, they must disclose the results of the test to the defense as part of the discovery process. Even if the results cannot be used in court, the prosecution is required to disclose test results showing that one of its witnesses may have been lying.
In some situations, it can be helpful to have the defendant voluntarily submit to a polygraph test, even knowing that the results are not admissible in court. If a polygraph test shows that a defendant is being truthful when he or she denies criminal liability, the prosecutor may reconsider filing criminal charges. There are many polygraph examiners who provide testing services for those accused of crimes. Many of these examiners have experience working in law enforcement and have excellent reputations in the legal community.
If the defendant takes a polygraph test before charges have been filed or before the case goes to trial, the results of this test can be presented to the prosecutor. Even though these test results may not be admissible in court, the prosecutor has a duty to seek justice and may give serious consideration to a defendant’s polygraph results. If the prosecutor believes that the defendant is not guilty of the crime charged, he or she may dismiss the charges altogether. The prosecutor may want to speak with the polygraph examiner, examine the full test results or see a video of the test to ensure that the test was conducted according to the proper procedure. In some cases, the prosecutor may want the defendant to take the test again using an examiner selected by the prosecutor.
If you have been charged with a crime or are currently under investigation, it is very important that you discuss your case with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut works with the top polygraph examiners in the area and understands how to effectively use these tests when defending his clients.
For more information about Los Angeles lie detector tests, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.