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Can the Police Lie to Me?

Many "suspects" in Florida and across the U.S. wonder if it is legal for police to lie when asking questions or interrogating a suspect. The simple answer is yes, they can. While everything you see on television regarding the criminal process isn't always the way it actually works, police can and often do lie in an effort to get a suspect to admit to a crime - in some cases, the alleged offender is actually innocent but has been worn down after countless hours of questioning. Unfortunately, many have even admitted to crimes they did not commit out of frustration and the fact they have reached the "breaking point." In this situation, police officers often tell the suspect that if they will just admit their involvement it will be easier on the suspect - even making an individual think he or she will be free to leave in some cases.

Of course, lying is a form of deception, considered unethical under most circumstances. For police officers, deceptive tactics are an invaluable tool and a strategy often employed when a suspect chooses not to remain silent or waives his or her rights to a lawyer.

Lying doesn't always mean a police officer lies outright. For instance, a law enforcement officer may make you believe he or she is understanding or sympathetic of your situation in an effort to get you to share more information. In other cases, a police officer may work to make the suspect believe the crime committed really is not all that serious, or minimize the suspect's fault or blame in the situation.

Police often make statements to suspects regarding the testimony of others that will support their suspicions, tell someone suspected of a crime that they have an eyewitness who will testify, or even go as far as to claim forensic evidence exists.

The bottom line is that yes, police can lie to someone suspected of committing a crime in Florida, to a certain extent. Whether you call it deception or lying, the purpose of an interrogation is to get an individual to say something or provide information that may not be in his or her best interest.

Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Florida Second District Court of Appeal have found deception used by police permissible; the U.S. Supreme Court in Frazier v. Cupp (1969), and the Florida Second District Court of Appeal in Florida v. Cayward (1989). Oral deception or lying during questioning to a suspect is permissible and legal, however manufacturing or fabricating evidence is not.

In the end, it is highly advised that suspects request a lawyer and refuse to answer questions posed by police. If you have been arrested, invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Police can and usually do lie to those they suspect is involved in any type of criminal activity - and they can and WILL use anything you say against you. Contact an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney immediately.

Client Reviews

I would like thank my attorney Thomas Luka. I knew from the beginning I had the right guy in my corner. While celebrating with family and friends at a Public Park in Seminole County, a fight broke out among various people. Myself, and a good friend, broke up the fight and the instigators left. Six months later, I was wrongly accused as the person who started the fight. The first attorney I hired could not even get a response from the State Attorney handling the case. Someone referred me to Tom and I felt comfortable at his demeanor and reactions.

After conversations with Tom, who knew I would settle for nothing less than a FULL DISMISSAL due to my innocence, I hired him. His firm of Adams and Luka did the due diligence by interviewing witnesses and the police who were on the scene, as well as starting a dialogue with the State Attorney. After gathering statements from witnesses, Tom was able to present a strong argument on my behalf to the State Attorney on why the case should be dismissed. If the State Attorney was not willing to dismiss the case, Tom was ready to take the case to trial.

The result by Thomas Luka: Case Dismissed.

I am 53 years old with a spotless record and glad to keep it that way thanks to the time, effort, hard work, and professionalism of the Adams and Luka and Tom Luka.

Earl from Mesquite
Thomas Luka left a life-long great impression of lawyers. He was always professional, on time, and answered things honestly. From the start and during the 14 months it went on - Tom was very upfront and honest with me about the possible outcomes. The result was better than I had hoped for. Tom really over-delivered. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Marcela Giorgi
Adams and Luka were very professional and savvy in the courtroom. When you're in court with Mr. Luka you will think you have the best attorney there. I recommend this law firm. Pioneer Tech
Rich Adams is an outstanding criminal attorney. I have had the opportunity to refer several friends and clients to his practice for handling of criminal matters, and on every occasion he has produced an excellent result. Rich practices with attention to detail, a thorough knowledge of the law, and a passion to defend his clients. I will continue to refer clients to Rich Adams, and would strongly recommend him for your legal needs. Brian Pink