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Can The Police Lie to Criminal Suspects in Illinois?

 Posted on August 04, 2022 in Criminal Law

Orland Park Criminal Defense AttorneyOne of the most ubiquitous myths about police officers is the rumor that police must identify themselves as law enforcement officers. On the hit television show Breaking Bad, a methamphetamine dealer suspects that an alleged buyer is really an undercover police officer. The alleged buyer says, “If you ask a cop if he is a cop, he is obligated to tell you.”  Unfortunately, the methamphetamine dealer falls for this trick, sells the drugs to the undercover officer, and is promptly arrested.

Many people wonder whether police officers are allowed to lie to criminal suspects. The answer is undoubtedly, yes. This is one reason it is so crucial for individuals accused of criminal activity to retain a skilled criminal defense lawyer.  

Sting Operations and Entrapment

Police often use undercover operations or “sting operations” to catch criminals in the act. Police may lie about their identity and intentions to apprehend criminals. For example, a police officer may pose as an underage girl online or pretend to be interested in buying illicit drugs to catch people breaking the law. Sting operations are perfectly legal. However, entrapment is not legal. The difference between entrapment and a sting operation is that entrapment involves coercing or forcing someone to break the law, while a sting operation merely provides an opportunity for someone to break the law.

Police Interrogations of Adults and Minors

Police may also lie to criminal defendants during police interrogations. For example, the police may say that a suspect’s friend confessed and implicated him or her in a crime even if that never happened. The police may say that they have evidence that they do not actually have such as the suspect’s blood at a crime scene. Police may also imply that the suspect will get a lighter jail sentence if he or she confesses, even though police are not the ones who determine sentencing.

Fortunately, Illinois recently outlawed these types of deceptive police interrogation techniques for juvenile offenders. Police cannot lie about evidence or make statements about leniency to minors. Lawmakers hope that SB2122 will reduce the incidence of false confessions and wrongful imprisonment.

Contact an Orland Park Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or your child were accused of a crime, you need an attorney who will fight to protect your rights and advocate fiercely on your behalf. Contact experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney Khaled Issa for help. Call 708-966-2408 for a free consultation.



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