Experienced. Aggressive. Successful.

Polygraph If Being Investigated For Rape Or Child Sex Abuse?

Many times, a detective and/or a prosecutor asks a suspect to take a polygraph examination to determine whether s/he is telling the truth with regards to a rape or child sex offense investigation.  A polygraph is used an investigative tool for these types of offenses because of the "he said/she said" nature of these cases.

Most of the time, there is no physical evidence--DNA, injuries, etc.--in rape and child sexual abuse cases.  If the detective and/or prosecutor is unsure about the strength of the allegations against a person, he or she will ask that the accused take a polygraph examination.  

Should you submit to the polygraph?  No, at least not until consulting with a lawyer.  In appropriate cases, I have my client take a polygraph conducted by a polygrapher that I trust.  If my client passes the polygraph, I turn it over to the prosecutor in hopes that the prosecutor will decline to file charges.  If the client fails the polygraph, there is no requirement that it be turned over to the prosecutor or law enforcement.  It's a win-win situation for the client (other than the cost which can run between $500 and $750).  

If the prosecutor wants a follow-up polygraph conducted by a polygrapher who works for law enforcement, I allow this sometimes.  It usually depends on what the prosecutor is willing to do if the polygraph is passed and whether I feel comfortable with the qualifications of the person conducting the polygraph.  Many times, the polygrapher used by the prosecutor is someone who is qualified and respected in the field.

A polygraph examination is not admissible in court unless both the prosecutor and defense counsel stipulate (agree) to its admission.  So, a failed polygraph isn't going to hurt a client at trial.  However, a failed polygraph may convince the prosecutor that a suspect is guilty and decide to file charges in a case that doesn't have a lot of physical evidence.

It is important to consult an attorney who has a good reputation and a lot of experience in handling child sex offenses and rape cases.  Whether to take a polygraph, as well as other important decisions, should not be made without the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney.  

If you find yourself in this situation, call for a consultation.  I work all over the State of Utah, including, but not limited to Salt Lake City, Provo, Logan, Ogden, Vernal and Davis County.

Comments (0)

Add a Comment



Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment: