A Polygraph Examination Can Help Get Criminal Charges Dismissed
Although a polygraph examination is generally not admissible as evidence, it can be a powerful negotiating tool and help get criminal charges dismissed. Clients often worry that being nervous or anxious might prevent them from passing a polygraph examination; however, a good polygraph examiner can still get reliable results even with a distressing subject. Think about it, wouldn’t anyone taking a polygraph feel at least a little nervous and anxious? A skilled, experienced defense lawyer can help a client determine whether submitting to a private or police polygraph is advisable.
Can I get my charges dismissed if I pass a polygraph examination?
This question became an issue in a recent case handled by LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. in Oakland County, Michigan. Our client was charged with armed robbery. No one disputed that the robbery occurred, but we contested the identification of our client. Our client was adamant that he was innocent and did not commit the crime. Soon after the robbery, the police found our client and another man together in Oakland County, Michigan. They allegedly matched the “description” of the alleged perpetrators. The witnesses identified our client and the other man as the two people that committed the robbery. This process is commonly referred to as a “show up.” Our client maintained that he had just met up with the other man and was unaware that he might have committed the robbery.
When we met with our client, he informed me that several people could vouch for his alibi and that he was home at the time of the crime. The firm’s investigator and attorneys interviewed the witnesses and believed the alibi witnesses were truthful. For the next several weeks, the investigators and our lawyers worked tirelessly to develop a compelling argument to present to the prosecutor to get the case dismissed. As just one tool in the process, the client agreed to take a private polygraph to help get their criminal charges dismissed. It was no surprise that he passed with flying colors. The prosecutor learned that LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. utilizes one of Michigan’s most credible polygraph examiners. Because of our polygraph examiner’s impeccable and honest reputation, the prosecutor did not even request a police polygraph.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a polygraph enough to convict?
A failed polygraph is not enough for a criminal conviction. In most cases, a polygraph cannot be admitted into evidence to prove or disprove guilt.
Can a polygraph prove your innocence?
Yes and no. A polygraph can be used to prove your innocence to a detective, prosecutor, employer, etc.; however, it cannot prove your innocence at trial because it is not admissible.
How could polygraph results be used in plea bargaining?
Yes, polygraph results can be a powerful negotiating tool in plea bargaining. A prosecutor might agree to dismiss or reduce charges if the defendant passes a polygraph. On a pre-charge basis, your lawyer can use polygraph results to persuade a prosecutor or detective not to file criminal charges in court.
Why are polygraphs not used in court?
Courts have not determined that polygraph results have sufficient guarantees of trustworthiness to be admitted as evidence in a trial. There are some hearings where a judge will permit polygraph results, such as an evidentiary hearing or a probation violation hearing.
Can an honest person fail a polygraph?
Yes, an honest person, telling the truth, can fail a polygraph. Some people are not physiologically appropriate candidates for a polygraph test. It is essential that a criminal defendant submits to a private polygraph to find out if there is a physiological reason they should not take a government polygraph test. In many cases, if a defendant passes a private polygraph with a credible, honest polygraphist, they get the green light to take a police or FBI polygraph.
What happens if you fail a polygraph?
Nothing happens if you fail a private polygraph test. Your lawyer will keep the results confidential. A prosecutor will probably not dismiss charges if you fail a state or government polygraph test. Polygraph examiners are expert interrogators. If you fail a police polygraph test, the examiner will interrogate you and attempt to procure inculpatory evidence against you.
How valid is a polygraph test?
It depends on the polygraph examiner. A top-notch, highly trained polygraph examiner can reliably produce valid polygraph test results.
Can polygraph tests be used in court?
Neither the prosecutor nor the defense can use polygraph test results cannot be used at trial. The test results might be admissible in specific hearings, such as evidentiary or probation violation hearings.
How long does it take to get polygraph results?
A polygraph examiner generally can produce results within 24 hours.
Lawyer’s Who Routinely Get Felony and Misdemeanor Charges Dismissed
At the preliminary examination, the judge dismissed the case against our client. The charges against the co-defendant went to a preliminary exam and were bound over to the circuit court for trial. He was convicted in the Oakland County Circuit Court and sent to prison. Our client is presently at home, relaxing with his family.
The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. frequently get our client’s charges dismissed or thrown out of court. Because of our well-known reputation for credibility and effectiveness, judges and prosecutors know that we will never back down when fighting for our clients. When the evidence is flimsy, or our client is innocent, the firm’s prestige can be integral in a prosecutor’s decision to dismiss charges.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.