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 June 02, 2021

Intimidation Tactics: Can the Police Lie to a Minor?

Teenager sitting in a jail cell

The truth comes out: Illinois may ban lying to minors in police interrogations.

Did you know law enforcement has the right to lie to you? And can do so to children younger than 18 as well?

Illinois could be the first state to ban police from lying to minors during interrogations, which is a strategy that has caused a significant number of false confessions in America.  

In the coming weeks, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign a policy into law that prevents police from lying to people younger than 18 to coerce and pry information or a confession out of them.

The wrongful conviction problem has gotten out of hand.

Chicago, in particular, is known to be the largest wrongful conviction city in the country, and there has been a disproportionate number of these occurrences happening to young Black people that have been lied to—resulting in false confessions.

Illinois officials are hoping this trend will end with the passing of this law.

The interrogation room can be a mind game.

Illinois may be the first state to pass a law to stop interrogation manipulation from happening to minors, but this can still happen in all other 49 states.

Lies can be anywhere from the subject of where a suspect’s DNA has been found to who said what about them, and this tactic has proven successful in many cases to pry information out of suspects in a crime.

In certain situations, though, and especially when you’re already afraid and feel threatened, the truth can be blurry, and the law can feel confusing. This is how innocent people end up wrongly confessing and going to jail.

If you’re ever in the interrogation room, knowing when law enforcement has the right to lie to you, what they can lie to you about, and what your rights are can help you stay levelheaded and prevent you from playing into psychological coercion.

Consult with a lawyer to understand your rights.

Life can come at you the hardest when you least expect it. And when you’re thrown into an unfamiliar situation that feels terrifying and threatening, the law and your rights can be confusing. If you have the knowledge of what to expect and recognize what your options are going into it, you can have the confidence knowing you understand the best way to protect yourself.

Your LegalShield provider lawyers are familiar with the laws in your state and can help you understand your rights.

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