The Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith represents clients who are accused of crimes of criminal sexual conduct and child abuse cases. Even if you are innocent of the crime you are being accused of, you may be asked to take a lie detector test, also known as a polygraph test, to determine if you are telling the truth or lying about committing the crime in question.
Polygraph Tests in Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases
Lie detector tests measure your body's response to questions that are asked involving the circumstances surrounding the crime of which you are accused. Baseline questions are also asked to help determine when you are telling the truth as compared to a lie. In cases involving criminal sexual conduct, very sensitive details may be asked causing a person to become nervous or uncomfortable, causing skewed result
Many supporters of polygraph tests say that it measures three different responses - breathing, pulse, and skin conductance - that your body gives to determine whether you are telling the truth or a lie. Many people are unable to control these three things at the same time, and this provides favorable results. Proponents also say that lie detector tests are accurate based on the responses given during the baseline measurement as compared to the differences between other answers given to the questions asked. On the other hand, there are critics who say that people can in fact control the responses of the body and there is no way to decipher the nervousness created by taking the test in general and the nervousness that arises from the questioning during the test.
Courts in most jurisdictions do not allow the results of polygraph tests to be used in criminal court proceedings because their reliability is questionable.
The decision to take a polygraph is a complicated one that must take place between the client and a qualified sex crimes attorney. Many lawyers are not trained to understand how polygraphs work and do not know how to effectively use them in their cases. The attorneys as the Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith, PC do use polygraphs in specific circumstances. If you have been asked to take a polygraph or a lie detector test, it is critical to first consult with a qualified attorney.