Should a defendant take a polygraph (lie detector) test in a New Jersey sex crimes investigations
A common issue that arises in a New Jersey sex crimes investigation is whether or not the defendant should take a polygraph test. Of course, polygraph tests are not admissible in New Jersey. However, law enforcement puts a lot of trust in them. Our team of sex crimes defense attorneys have blown up some huge cases by having my client submit to and pass a polygraph test. Like all defense strategies, there is no one size fits all approach here.
One of the best moves for a defense attorney is to set up the client with a private polygraph test. Our lawyers have worked with some of the best in the industry and it has proved to be invaluable. Even clients that have sworn up and down that they were 100% innocent have failed the polygraph test. If my client failed a polygraph test that was administered by a detective, there would clearly not be any follow up questioning. Even without a statement, this result could lead detectives to believe that they are on the right track. This is why they insist on it even when the person is represented by counsel. This is why I insist that my client take a private polygraph test first.
Before a private polygraph test is undertaken, the attorney needs to find out as much as possible about the facts of the case so that the questioning can better match the expected questioning of the detective. The defendant also needs to be prepared to accept a negative outcome of the test. Many defendant who fail a test could get angry at the person administering the test, the defense lawyer or both. The lawyer must ensure the defendant before the test is taken that he or she will fight for the defendant no matter what the result is. A good examiner can only soften the blow by explaining the many reasons for a negative result.
The defense attorney also needs to have contingency plans of either the private test or law enforcement test results in failure. If you put all of your eggs in one basket, the client may abandon you if he or she thinks that there no back up plan. If the result is positive, instead of taking another test with law enforcement, it may be possible to just provide the results of your private test to the detective or prosecutor in charge of the case.