THE USE OF THE POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION IN MICHIGAN SEX OFFENSE CASES: It could mean the difference between being charged with a sex offense or not.

In the State of Michigan a person accused of a sex crime can be convicted based upon the allegations of the victim alone – even if false. The use of a polygraph examination given by a defense expert can often persuade a prosecutor not to bring charges in the first instance or to dismiss charges that have already been brought. A polygraph examination given by a defense expert is different in its objective than that of a polygraph given by the police. The police polygraph examiner seeks to extract a confession because he or she is taught to believe the truth of the allegations, whereas the defense expert focuses on specific issues surrounding the facts of the alleged sexual misconduct without any preconceived notions of guilt, which oftentimes leads to a more accurate test result as to whether an accused is telling the truth.

In addition, the law in Michigan specifically provides a person accused of committing certain sex crimes is entitled to a police polygraph examination upon request to allow the accused a mechanism to refute the allegations. However, before making any decision as to whether to undergo a polygraph examination of any kind, whether conducted by the police or a defense expert, the accused should consult with an attorney experienced in sex crimes cases to determine whether taking a police polygraph is advisable under the circumstances or whether a defense polygraph would be a better alternative. Moreover, the taking of a polygraph examination will not be advisable in every case, but the issue should be addressed as part of the general defense strategy in each sexual misconduct case.


Grabel & Associates handles the defense of all criminal sex offenses throughout the State of Michigan, in both state and federal courts, and can be contacted at grabellaw@aol.com for a free initial consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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