There are plenty of situations in which you cannot lie to the police. They could charge you with obstruction of justice in some cases, for instance. If they ask you to identify yourself during a traffic stop, you’re legally obligated to do so. You cannot give them a fake name.
This may make you think that the rules should work both ways. You can’t lie to the police and the police cannot lie to you. But is this actually how it works?
The police are absolutely allowed to lie
Unfortunately, the truth is that the police are allowed to lie in many situations. They do not have to be honest with you during an interview or an interrogation. In some cases, they will lie about evidence that they have or statements that other people have made in order to influence what you tell them.
For example, the police may tell you that your partner in an alleged crime already confessed and told them what you did that broke the law. This may never have happened, but they’re hoping that you believe it and confess to something that you otherwise never would have claimed that you did.
Protecting your rights
This is just one reason why it’s so important to work with your legal defense team if you have to meet with the police. You don’t want to say anything that would accidentally incriminate yourself or make you look guilty when you’re not. You also don’t want to assume that the police are being honest and fair with you. Instead, focus on your rights and the legal options at your disposal.