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Protecting Against the Use of Deceptive Practices By Law Enforcement

 Posted on March 16,2018 in Criminal Defense

Santa Cruz criminal defense lawyerPolice officers may not take or search property without just cause, nor can they force anyone to testify against themselves. These laws, along with many others, protect the public from becoming victims of an increasingly powerful justice system, and they place a burden on the shoulders of the police department to complete the investigative steps that are necessary for learning the truth of a particular incident. Unfortunately, myriad excuses exist as to why many law enforcement officials continually fail to meet their requirements and protect citizens’ rights. Instead of putting in the time and effort to obtain their information ethically, many cops use deceptive practices during a criminal investigation.

At a Traffic Stop

One of the most common questions a police officer asks after pulling a driver over is, “Do you know why I stopped you?” This question is not an attempt at polite conversation or a way to "break the ice." The officer hopes the driver will voluntarily confess to a crime, and not necessarily the alleged offense which caused them to pull the driver over in the first place. Additionally, officers frequently stop drivers under the pretense of warning them of a “blown tail light” or other alternate non-moving violation. During this type of “good samaritan” stop, if any evidence presents itself, such as the odor of alcohol which may be indicative of a DUI, an officer will happily use it to their advantage.

In the Interrogation Room

The utilization of physical violence to convince suspects to give a confession is strictly forbidden. However, police will often use psychological tactics to get any information they are looking for, even if it is untruthful. Officers can legally lie to suspects during an investigation with no penalties. Detectives commonly exaggerate the strength of their case and evidence, for instance. Other tactics witnessed during interrogations include:

  • Detaining suspects for excessive lengths of time.
  • Fictitious informants.
  • Implying that being uncooperative will result in further punishment.
  • Making suspects feel guilty for not wanting to submit to a warrantless search.

Do Not Become a Victim

Unfortunately, deceit is a tool that is frequently used by police officers to get the answers they want during an investigation. While some police advisors advise officers not to mislead suspects, many detectives notoriously do the opposite. However, if there is sufficient proof that an officer did not operate within the parameters of the law, the evidence obtained may not be admissible in court. If you are facing criminal charges, John W. Thornton, Attorney at Law can help analyze the strength of the prosecution’s case, find loopholes, and earn you the best possible outcome. Contact a Santa Cruz, CA criminal defense attorney at 831-426-5800 today for a free, honest, and reliable consultation.


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