The Role Of Lie Detector Tests In A Murder Investigation

Police officers often administer a lie detector test because they believe that it is a very useful investigative tool.

Courts, however, hold the belief that the results of lie detector tests are unreliable. There are studies which show that the test can lead to either false positive or false negative results. Because of these uncertain results, it’s been found by the courts to be legally unreliable and not evidence that can be used in the case. Certainly, I have never in my experience advised a client to say yes to a lie detector test.

But police officers do ask people to take lie detector tests all the time and, in my experience, they are influenced by the results. If you fail a lie detector test, the police can’t use that against you in court but it will certainly shape the way that they proceed with their investigation. If they have a suspect, and the suspect does a lie detector test, and fails it, the police are more likely to intensify their investigation and try to find other evidence which is in fact admissible. By way of contrast, if you were to pass a lie detector test, the police will often, in my experience, change the nature of the investigation and try to follow other leads.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Toronto,Ontario Region, contact Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman for a consultation.

This information is taken from an interview from , September 11, 2008 with Boris Bytensky, Criminal Lawyer with Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman, a Toronto Criminal Defence Law Firm. The article is provided as an information service only and should not be used as legal advice. Laws vary by jurisdiction so please consult with an appropriate legal professional if you are looking for help with a specific situation.