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What to do if a police officer lies in a report?

Panorama City, CA |

If someone has been arrested, and charged with a misdemeanor, and when that someone read the police report, he finds a conversation that is made up by the officer to make that person look guilty. What does that person should do?
I read that the judge has to believe the officer, but what about the jury? Sadly, lie detectors are not allowed in court. What to do in those case if there is not a single witness that can testify in your favor?

There is not recording of the conversation. but I am afraid that her colleague will testify in her favor because police officers protect each other (a shield).

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Best answer

    There is not an easy or straightforward answer to this question. The thing to understand is that there are about a dozen different things that might be done, depending on the circumstances. I'm very familiar with defending people against falsified accusations by the police, as are others on Avvo, and the bottom line is it takes a ton of work and a lot of different strategies can be employed. Generally speaking the person is going to need a qualified attorney (and probably a private investigator) working to establish that the officer has substantial credibility problems, that there are objective reasons to believe or disbelieve one version of the story or another, and to undermine the reliability of any statement the person supposedly made.
    All of that is to say: it's not easy, and there is generally a lot of work that needs doing. Do not try to take that strategy on alone. That person NEEDS a lawyer.

    Any answer provided on Avvo, including this one, is a general answer about a legal question, not specific legal advice. Different lawyers may analyze this or any other matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am licensed in the state of California and the Central District of the Ninth Circuit.

  2. Is there a recording? I would definitely look into that!

    Elliot Zarabi

    Elliot Zarabi 213-612-7720 This answer does not constitute full legal advise. I do not know the full details of the case and therefore cannot make a full determination on your case or your answer. I always recommend speaking to an attorney in detail regarding your case.

  3. Hire an attorney. You can try to plea it or take your chances at trial by attacking the witness's story.

    This is not a comprehensive answer and it is impossible to provide a meaningful response without a consultation. Call us for more information. 619.797.5456

  4. Someone should hire a criminal defense attorney IMMEDIATELY.

    You are misinformed: Judges do not "have to believe an officer".

    Fortunately, lie detectors are not allowed in court--they are unreliable--they could show the officer being truthful and you evasive--your future is not worth betting on an unreliable instrument.

    You can cross examine the arresting officer--but unless you've experience cross-examining witnesses and you understand criminal procedure, the odds of you exposing the lie is next to zero.

    Do yourself a favor--hire a criminal defense attorney IMMEDIATELY.

    NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

  5. I don't know what you're reading but it must be fiction. Judges don't have to believe cops at all - a police officer's testimony is subject to the same scrutiny for truthfulness as any other witness. And juries are instructed to that effect. In fact, a jury would be instructed that a police officer should not be accorded any more credibility than anyone else and they must take into account a cop may have testified many, many times, while other witnesses have no experience in a courtroom at all.

    What is this recording all about?

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