What if the ‘cops are lying’ ?


Your attorney will explain to you the ‘burden of proof’ that the prosecutor must meet in order to charge you initially, and convict you at trial. That means that the prosecutor has to prove to a jury or judge beyond a ‘reasonable doubt’ that a crime was committed, and that you did it.

The way prosecutors do that is through evidence like witness testimony, which includes the arresting officers and investigators at the scene or who interviewed the victim, defendant and others about what they did, saw, heard and said.  The prosecutor’s version of the ‘facts’ are in police reports, witness statements prepared and attached to the police reports, etc.

When the defendant claims that such evidence is not what occurred or not what was said, he is challenging the credibility of the police. To be successful in that challenge, the defendant will have to have other evidence, like witnesses, to show that the police and prosecutor version is incorrect, false, or even fabricated [‘lies’].  It all comes down to credibility of the two sides, including what the motive of each side might be to lie to support their position.

Judges and juries understand that defendants might be suspected of lying to protect themselves and avoid jail, but neutral witnesses would have more credibility. It is disputes like this that make it difficult for judges and juries to know who is telling the truth. Your attorney will use the facts and evidence in the best possible way to defend you and convince the judge or jury that there is enough doubt about guilt to avoid a conviction, or at least to get a reasonable and acceptable plea ‘deal’ if necessary. That is why we attorneys are properly called ‘advocates’ for our clients.

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