The Advantage Of KnowingHow The Other Side Thinks

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The Advantage Of KnowingHow The Other Side Thinks

Photo of Nichole Dusché

Police lie detection techniques: How they can go wrong

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Being accused of a crime is enormously upsetting, particularly if the allegations against you are false. Under such circumstances, people feel driven to defend themselves and give their side of the story to anyone who will listen. However, this could backfire if you try to do this without the help of an attorney.

For instance, if police confront you to talk, you might feel like as long as you tell the truth, you have nothing to hide. However, law enforcement agents utilize training and tactics to determine whether someone is telling the truth, and many of them are not sound.

Practices not supported by science

There are numerous measures police officers use to get information about a situation. Some are legitimate and lawful, but others are not.

As discussed in this article, law enforcement agencies can rely on unsound approaches to determine whether someone is telling the truth. Despite scientific debunking or challenge, agents may use the following methods during an interview or investigation:

  • Detecting “microexpressions,” or facial expressions that last a fraction of a second
  • Studying behavioral cues like voice, eye movement and posture
  • Looking for subconscious communication

In addition to trying to tell whether someone is lying, police also rely on measures to get someone to confess to a crime. The following tactics are also highly contested and can result in false confessions:

  • Using props
  • Feigning sympathy or minimizing the crime
  • Lying about the facts of the case
  • Redirecting the person away from claims of innocence to explanations of guilt
  • Being confrontational

Why junk science is so dangerous

These approaches are not only inexact, but they can also be used to justify police prejudice. In other words, if police suspect someone is guilty based on skin color, gender or other traits, they might argue that they saw nonverbal cues or indications that the person was lying. Or they may get the person to make a false confession.

Even if you are telling the truth and want to defend yourself against criminal allegations, there is no guarantee that police will believe you. In fact, they may use flawed tactics to claim you are lying. Because of this, it can be vital to refrain from talking to the police without an attorney present.