Philadelphia, PA criminal defense lawyer Joseph Lesniak explains why you shouldn’t immediately submit to a polygraph test.
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So the short answer is no. Polygraph tests are not admissible in court to determine guilt or innocence but police departments have been using them and here in southeastern Pennsylvania especially, have been using them to determine whether to file charges. So if a client were to come to me or somebody were to come to me and ask for a consultation I’d say let’s go get a private polygraph. Let us do the polygraph and if the results are good, we’ll hand it over to the police department. I know what questions to ask because I use to create them as a prosecutor so we’ll ask the same questions but then, if the results aren’t good the police are none the wiser. Going and submitting to a detective who is a polygrapher gives them basically ammunition in what we call probable cause to arrest. Yes, they’ll tell you oh, It can’t be used in court and it can’t be used against you, anything you say can be used against you. And so, it’s important if you want to go through a polygraph, you really believe you can pass a polygraph then let’s go get our own polygraph done separate from the police department.