Many Texans believe if you ask an officer if he or she is a cop, the officer must tell the truth. This is typically not the case, however. In fact, officers throughout the Lone Star State regularly disguise their identities when investigating possible criminal conduct.
If officers can legally lie about their identities, you may wonder what other untruths they can tell you. While there are some exemptions, officers may provide misleading information about a wide range of topics.
Before officers conduct a custodial interrogation, they typically must advise suspects of their legal rights. These include both the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney for major phases of the criminal process. Exercising these rights is often critical, as officers may lie about the evidence they have in an attempt to secure a confession.
Even if they have none, officers may tell you they have witnesses. They may also say they have surveillance footage or videotape that simply does not exist. During the stress of a police interrogation, this untrue information may cause you to confess to a crime you did not commit. You may also inadvertently help officers fill in the gaps in their investigation.
While officers may lie about many aspects of their investigation, they cannot legally lie about everything. Specifically, officers may not mislead you about your fundamental rights. If they do, you may be able to suppress any information they learn from you.
Now that you know about investigation tactics, you probably realize officers have an unfair advantage in interrogation rooms. Ultimately, invoking your legal rights may be the only way for you to level the playing field.