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Is it true that if you ask an undercover police officer if they are a police officer they have to tell you?

San Francisco, CA |

I want to get the record set straight on this one.

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Attorney answers 4


It is not true. Police officers are allowed to lie in the course of their work.

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As Ms. McCall writes: It is not true. However, it is unlawful for someone not a police officer to pose or claim to be one.

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Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin


Technically, I think it's unlawful for someone who's not a police officer to seriously represent themselves as one. Dressing up as a police officer for Halloween is fine. Seriously passing yourself off as one, not.


Imagine how useless undercover work would become if that were true. Police officers often lie, use deception, obfuscation and psychological techniques to complete further investigation. So, the answer is no.


This is one of the oldest myths around. No, they don't. Can you imagine an undercover investigation if that was the rule?

Suspected prostitute: Are you a cop?
Cop: Darn! Yes.

Suspected Drug dealer: You're not a cop, are you?
Cop: Aw, man! Yeah, I am. Can I still buy drugs from you?


The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case.

C. C. Abbott

C. C. Abbott


best answer I have seen this year

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