Can You Just Take a Polygraph Test to Clear Your Name in NYC? 

When you’re under arrest and innocent, you may be desperate to prove it.

This desperation can lead you to make mistakes.

For example, a police officer may offer you the chance to take a polygraph test to prove your innocence. You may leap at the opportunity to do just that.

Yet your answer should be a definite no, thank you, and you should reiterate your desire to remain silent and to meet with an attorney. 

Here are the reasons why a polygraph is a bad idea. 

Polygraph Results Aren’t Admissible New York Courts 

Polygraph tests have been inadmissible in New York since the 1938 case People v. Forte. New York Courts have routinely upheld polygraphs as unproven science. As the subsequent century has only continued to prove that polygraphs are “junk science,” it is unlikely New York courts will reverse this trend any time soon or decide to join the ranks of the 23 states still admitting polygraphs into evidence. 

That may be good news because the prosecution can’t use a failed polygraph against you. On the other hand, a successful polygraph can’t help you.

If polygraphs aren’t admissible, why do police offer them at all?  

Police Use Polygraph Results to Trick You

Police are allowed to lie to defendants and trick them during interrogations. This includes putting defendants at ease by strapping them to a polygraph machine.

You think you’re talking away, answering questions to prove your innocence. But you rarely know the police “theory of the crime” or the story they plan to tell in court when you’re sitting in an interrogation room.

That “air-tight alibi” you think you just gave them physically locates you five minutes away from the crime scene on the night in question. That earnest answer they just pulled out of you offered them a motive. 

You cannot talk your way out of an arrest. Once the police have you and have charged you, they can’t just let you go, and they won’t. Any promises to the contrary are just lies designed to trick you into waiving your fifth amendment rights. Only a prosecutor may dismiss the charges now, and that’s only likely to happen if you keep your mouth shut and lawyer up. 

Get Help Today

Don’t fall for dodgy police interrogation tactics. 

Request a lawyer immediately, then contact Neil S. Ruskin, Attorney at Law. We’ll help you bring your case to its best possible outcome. 

See also: 

What to Consider When Contemplating a Plea Bargain in New York

How to Exercise Your 5th Amendment Rights After Getting Arrested in Brooklyn, NY

Understanding the Classes of New York Felony Charges 

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