Polygraph Testing in Sex Crime Cases in Utah
In any kind of a criminal legal case involving a sex crime or related violation, it’s common for law enforcement agencies to insist on a party taking a lie detector test to “prove” their innocence during interviewing. Whether as a subject of interest or a witness, law enforcement will regularly ask the party to volunteer to take a polygraph examination to clear their name. Witnesses and defendants need to understand right up front such a test does nothing for them as an explanation and is only offered to help bolster the investigation if anything signals useful information.
If you are being pressured to take a polygraph test in a sex crime investigation or have already done so willingly, it’s critical to contact an experienced criminal counsel like Wasatch Defense Attorneys to protect your rights in a sex crime defense.
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How Polygraph Tests are Used in Sex Crime Investigations
Police regularly take advantage of people’s willingness to be forthright and cooperative, insisting on people’s help. This willingness helps investigators get around the fact that everyone has a Constitutional right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination. Since a party is willing to cooperate, the right is not violated, and investigators get a chance to ask all types of questions to see if the test is triggered and might show a “lie.” While the actual admission of a polygraph test in court is controversial and states are all over the map on the matter, the test results can make an impression in court to both the judge and jury if allowed.
What is Involved with a Polygraph Test
The machine used, the polygraph, tracks ongoing measurements of a person’s breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate while being asked questions. Only the test administrator is involved, both marking the results and asking the questions, usually. Where a subject responds with physiological reactions to a question, the results can then be interpreted to infer the person’s answer at that time was an attempt at deception or truthful. From a science-based perspective, the polygraph does not have support as a reliable tool. Too many other influencing factors can throw the results ranging from the tone of voice used by the administrator to the stress involved by who offers the test, such as the party being subjected to a police examination at the police station.
Application in Court
Interestingly, the polygraph as a tool and its results have not been entirely barred in court. States differ on how much it can be used as evidence as many lawyer sex crimes cases show. One of the more common rules is that both parties must agree to the defendant willingly taking the test in the first place. That said, investigators will try to emphasize to the suspect, subject, or witness that taking the test is in their best interest to clear their name early on in a case. Attorney sex crime resources will regularly confirm no such guarantee actually exists or will be put in writing.
Contact the Top Defense Lawyers in Utah Right Away
If you are being pressured to take a polygraph test in a sex crime investigation or have already done so willingly, it’s critical to contact an experienced criminal counsel like Wasatch Defense Attorneys to protect your rights in a sex crime defense. Juries often try to apply Hollywood movie perspectives in a case, and the mention of a lie detector’s test results will bring up similar attitudes, often to the disadvantage of the defendant. Don’t leave yourself in this situation. Your personal freedom and livelihood could depend on effectively showing and arguing differently. And a qualified sex crime defense attorney in Utah can help protect your rights and your freedom. Don’t hesitate and call us to learn more.
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