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If a defendant passes a polygraph test, can I (plaintiff) take one to prove him or her wrong? Would I have to hire someone?

Ypsilanti, MI |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

Prosecution agreed to drop CSC charges when defendant passed test.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. There are different evidentiary standards for criminal and civil courts (which is why OJ Simpson was found Not Guilty in one Trial [the criminal one], and Guilty in another [the civil one]). If you are talking about your role as the plaintiff in divorce/custody proceedings, the fact that the Prosecutor decided not to press CSC charges does not necessarily mean you can't argue the issue in family court, but please ensure you are represented by good local counsel to ensure you properly present the issue(s). I wish you all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt Catchick.

  2. First, if you are a crime victim on a criminal case you are not the plaintiff-----the People of the State of Michigan is the plaintiff. You are the complainant. Second, under law, the police or prosecutor cannot ask you (CSC victim) to take a polygraph, but you can volunteer to do so. A polygraph is not 100% reliable and not admissible at a criminal trial, therefore, it's used only as investigative tool. More information is needed to understand why the prosecutor dismissed the case. If you are having problems in communicating with the prosecutor, you may want to retain private counsel to assist you. A private attorney, who is a former prosecutor, would be a good choice for a consultation to discuss your options, criminal or civil, in greater detail. Good luck.

    THE WOLF LAW FIRM would be available to assist in this matter after a formal consultation to obtain all necessary facts and review all pertinent documents. An attorney-client relationship with THE WOLF LAW FIRM or Answering Attorney is not established until and if a written engagement agreement is executed by all parties and an agreed upon retainer is tendered. In the meantime, please consider this response as a general answer for the benefit and entertainment of the public. We wish you the best. Thank you.

  3. It probably wouldn't do any good if you did. My guess, based upon my experience in these cases, is probably the evidence against the defendant was weak. Having him take a polygraph would either solidify their belief in his guilt if he failed or cause them to have a doubt in their case if he passed. It sounds like the latter is what happened. Unfortunately, it is up to the prosecutor and not to the complaining witness to make the call of whether or not to pursue charges. Many prosecutors will pursue CSC cases with weak evidence, but it sounds like in this instance they aren't willing to take that risk and potentially waste a lot of time and money on a case they are not likely to win by proving the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In criminal cases, it will take more than one person's word against another one, especially in sex crime cases, to meet that burden.

  4. I agree with all of my colleague's points. You should retain your own criminal attorney to assist you with communicating with the prosecutor. Since polygraphs are not admissible but may be used as investigative tools, the prosecutor may be willing to revisit the case if you offer to take and pass a polygraph. But, the prosecutor must make the decision based on all of the evidence. Good luck to you.

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