The Truth About Lie Detector Tests

A client called me today in regard to taking a lie detector test. The client, the day manager of a fast food restaurant, showed up at work one particular morning unable to find the previous nights receipts which he generally deposits in the morning. After calling the night manager, it was determined that someone had stolen about $2000.00. The detective in charge, asked my client to take a lie detector test (polygraph) and that’s when the client called me.
If you have not taken a polygrap, the process is pretty simple. Prior to the test, you and the operator will discus what questions you will be asked. Generally, there will only be two or three questions related to the issue for which you are being interrogated. There will no surprise questions and you will know exactly what the operator will ask.

You will then be hooked up to various sensors that will measure such things as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and skin conductivity. And based on these indices, the operator will decide whether he or she believes you are telling the truth, lying, or cannot make determination.

Results of the polygraph are not admissible in Court to determine guilt or innocence, but they are admissible in certain other situations. For instance, if you were to admit that you don’t remember exactly what happened or that you might have committed the crime, the operator will generally not proceed any further, pack up his equipment, and testify in court that you said you might have committed the crime.

I generally advise my clients that if they agree to take a polygraph administered by the police, they first take a test in my office that no one will know about. If they pass, I will tell them to do one for the police. If they fail, no one will about this private test and I advise them not to take a test administered by the authorities. And generally, if you pass their test, the prosecutor will drop the charges against you.

Depending on the crime you are charged with, submitting to a polygraph may be a smart move. Make sure you discuss the pros and cons with your attorney. It could be the smartest decision you make to submit to a polygraph or the smartest decision you make, if you refuse.