Most of us are familiar with polygraph tests – so called lie detector tests – from cop shows on TV. The Polygraph machine that performs polygraph tests has been around for a very long time, but the veracity of its results has always been questioned. For this very reason, polygraph test results are not always welcome in court. This is not to say, however, that because of their dicey history these results are always inadmissible as evidence in criminal cases.
Don’t Lie to Me
Many people are under the mistaken impression (probably due to those cop shows) that polygraph test results are always inadmissible, but the United States Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that judges have some leeway in deciding whether the information provided by such mechanical detectors are of value to the case. Further, a New Jersey appeals court’s recent ruling has instructed the state to implement polygraph testing as a routine component in post-prison monitoring of sex offenders.
For accused sex offenders, who necessarily face sentence-prescribed lifetime supervision, this development amounts to a lifetime of ongoing interrogations. In fact, five registrants recently brought a claim against the decision that raised several issues:
- Subjects aren’t allowed to have counsel present during the testing;
- Subjects aren’t adequately instructed on their rights to avoid self-incrimination; and
- Subjects can face punishment if they decline to answer invasive questions.
The court did not agree and maintained that probation officers can implement polygraph testing but that protective steps should be taken to guard against self-incrimination by the subjects and that the testing should not be employed in such a way that the recipients’ lives are affected – vague protections that are difficult to define and pinpoint. The five disgruntled plaintiffs are in the process of appeal with the New Jersey Supreme Court.
This latest ruling highlights the ever-increasing necessity to foster the strongest defense in the face of any sex crime charge.
For More Information about Protecting Your Rights in the Face of a Criminal Charge, Call 973-686-9787 Today
If you are facing a criminal charge, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of David W. Polsky today. David has years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer and is committed to advocating for your legal rights. We’re here to help, so give us a call at 973-686-9787 or contact us online.