Should You Take a Polygraph Test if You're Being Accused of a Crime

Oct 9, 2019

The Importance of Understanding Polygraph Tests

If you find yourself being accused of a crime, it's crucial to understand your rights and options. One common question that often arises is whether you should take a polygraph test. As a reputable attorney in the field of criminal law, John P. Bennett has encountered this question numerous times. In this article, we will delve into the topic of polygraph tests and provide comprehensive insights to help you make an informed decision.

What is a Polygraph Test?

A polygraph test, also known as a lie detector test, is a tool used in criminal investigations to measure physiological responses such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and skin conductivity. The test is designed to determine the truthfulness of the person being questioned by detecting physiological changes that may indicate deception.

The Limitations of Polygraph Tests

While polygraph tests have been utilized in various legal settings, it is important to note their limitations. Despite their popular portrayal in movies and TV shows, polygraph tests are not foolproof indicators of truth or deception. The results of a polygraph test are highly subjective and can be influenced by factors such as anxiety, stress, medications, and even the skill of the examiner.

Legal Implications of Polygraph Tests

In most legal jurisdictions, polygraph test results are not admissible as evidence in court. This means that even if you pass the test, it doesn't guarantee immunity against criminal charges. However, failing the test might have negative consequences, as it could potentially provide law enforcement with additional leads or evidence to further investigate your involvement in a crime.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

When deciding whether to take a polygraph test, it is crucial to consider the potential risks and benefits. On one hand, passing the test could strengthen your credibility and help establish your innocence. On the other hand, failing the test could lead to unfavorable consequences, including the suspicion of guilt.

It is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney like John P. Bennett, who can analyze the specific circumstances of your case and provide personalized guidance. An attorney can assess the potential reliability of the polygraph examiner, as well as the potential impact of the test results on your overall defense strategy.

Alternative Defense Strategies

Keep in mind that a polygraph test is just one piece of the puzzle in a criminal defense. Your attorney may recommend alternative strategies such as gathering witnesses, obtaining alibis, challenging the evidence, or negotiating a plea bargain.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to take a polygraph test should be based on a thorough understanding of its benefits and limitations, as well as consultation with a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through the legal process.


When faced with accusations of a crime, it's important to remember that the decision to take a polygraph test is ultimately yours. While it may seem like a straightforward way to prove your innocence, it's essential to consider the potential risks and talk to a trusted attorney like John P. Bennett. With their guidance, you can navigate the intricacies of the legal system and develop a solid defense strategy tailored to your specific situation. Remember, always exercise your rights and seek professional advice to protect your best interests.

Steven Wolinsky
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