A polygraph, most commonly referred to as a Lie Detector, is a machine that is used by law enforcement to test the physiological responses of individuals to certain questions. A polygraph, for purposes of a Criminal Sexual Conduct charge, is a tool commonly used by law enforcement when investigating Criminal Sexual Conduct charges.
What most people do not know, is that if you are charged with a Criminal Sexual Assault crime in Michigan, you are entitled to a Polygraph by the state, if you want one.
The state represents that the purpose of affording those accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct charges a polygraph exam is to provide a means by which the accused can demonstrate their innocence, thereby obviating the necessity of a trial.
Once the trial has commenced and jeopardy has attached, the accused is no longer able to take advantage of the state offered polygraph.
When being investigated/charged with a Sex Crime, the accused is often quick to want to take a state issued polygraph test. The accused believes in their heart that they are innocent, that they can outthink the polygraph or read online about how to beat a polygraph. That is a very normal way of thinking, but remember, this is not a normal situation to find yourself in.
The decision to take a state issued polygraph is a very big decision. Taking a state issued polygraph to help prove your innocence certainly can seem enticing. However, there are several negative ramifications that can come along with taking a state polygraph.
A skilled attorney in defending Sexual Assault cases will tell you NOT to take a state issued polygraph test. Here are a few reasons you may choose NOT to take the state issued polygraph test:
- Your lawyer typically cannot be in the room during a state issued polygraph test.
- When submitting to a state polygraph, you will be interviewed by the polygraph operator prior to the actual polygraph test.
- The individual doing the pre-interview with you is a police officer who is specially trained in polygraph examinations.
- That same highly trained polygraph operator/officer has the experience and knowledge about polygraph examinations that you cannot find on the internet.
- After the polygraph has been administered, you will typically have to submit to a post- interview by the same trained officer.
- Whatever you say during the pre and/or post interviews can and will be used against you.
- The polygraph interviews are almost always videotaped. Therefore, the state can and will use the audio from the pre and post interviews against you for purposes of plea negotiations and/or trial.
ARE POLYGRAPHS ADMISSIBLE AT COURT?
It’s important to note, in Michigan, polygraph tests and their results are NOT admissible in court. The state uses the Polygraph as a tool against you, meaning they can use the pre/post interview against you for plea/negotiations tactics. While a private polygraph, which is done by a skilled polygraph operator of our choosing, is done in an effort to use the positive results for negotiation purposes.
The detective requested I meet him at the police station to take a polygraph, should I go?
The first thing you should do is call Blank Law, PC. Blank Law, PC will advise and instruct you on what you should or should not do under these circumstances.
If I do not comply with the detective who is investigating/charged me, and refuse to take the state issued polygraph, isn’t that going to look bad? The detective/prosecutor will likely hold that against me, right?
NO. NO. NO. Detectives are used to suspects/the accused refusing to take a state issued polygraph. Once you have Blank Law, PC involved in your case, Blank Law, PC will immediately contact the detective and speak to him/her on your behalf. Part of that conversation will involve Nicole indicating to the detective that you are not going into the police station for an interview, nor are you going in for a state issued polygraph test.
Again, dealing with the detectives, polygraphs and interviews with the police are all stages of the process that must be handled delicately. By “delicately” we mean…. By a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of how to make the proper decisions when it comes to very critical stages in the legal process like this one. Nicole is confident we can provide you with the proper skills and advice for every step throughout this scary process.