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Is it illegal to lie to law enforcement?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2023 | Criminal Defense

After your arrest, officers will want to talk to you. The interrogation process can be intimidating, and officers will try anything to get you to tell them about your involvement with the alleged crime.

You have two options when it comes to speaking with them. You can exercise your right to remain silent, or you can talk. But one right you do not have is to lie. Lying to law enforcement is illegal and could get you into more trouble.

Good for us but not for you

While the law says you cannot lie to an officer, there is no law saying the same for them. Officers can and will lie to you to try to get you to talk. They can say anything they want without fear of penalty.

Protection built-in for you

The reason why officers can lie is that you have protection under the law. You have the right to remain silent. If you choose not to do that, they can use anything you say against you, which includes lies. In an effort to even the playing field, the law allows officers to lie because it is their job to get you to provide them with evidence. However, you do not have any pressure to talk because the law gives you the right to stay quiet.

The only exception about lying is that officers cannot lie to you about your rights. They must read you your rights as provided under the law, and they have no authority to take them away.