Are Lie Detector Tests Admissible?
It might seem like the technology of the polygraph, also known as the lie detector test, could take the guess work out of determining who is lying and who is telling the truth. However, the results of lie detector tests are not always admissible in court.
Different Jurisdictions Have Different Rules
The Argument Against Lie Detector Admissibility
Those who argue for allowing the results of lie detector tests to be admitted in court argue that the tests are reliable most of the time. Therefore, proponents argue it is useful to prove whether a person is telling the truth or lying. However, many experts disagree with the assumption that lie detector tests are reliable in most situations. Accordingly, when the Supreme Court left the admissibility of lie detector results up to the individual jurisdictions it commented that there is no reliable evidence about the accuracy of lie detector tests.
How a Lie Detector Works
Although lie detector test results are not always admissible in court, many attorneys and law enforcement officers continue to use the technology when questioning witnesses and suspects. If law enforcement administers a polygraph test to a suspect then they need to issue the Miranda warnings prior to conducting the test. If you have any questions about the use or admissibility of lie detector tests in your jurisdiction then you should contact a local attorney or your local bar association for additional information.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
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