Can a Lie Detector Test Help Your CO Sex Crimes Case?

Being accused of a sex crime in Colorado is very serious. If convicted, you face severe penalties that can have an impact on the rest of your life – where you work, live, and even if you can get financial assistance, such as loans.

That’s why, if you are facing sex crime charges, you need a skilled attorney on your side to help. Many lawyers are often asked if taking a lie detector test can bolster your case. After all, if you’re innocent, then there is nothing to hide, right? Well, it’s really not that simple.

Here is what you need to know about sex crimes in Colorado and how the court views tools such as lie detectors in these types of cases.

Sex Crimes in Colorado

Sex offenses in Colorado include but are not limited to acts such as:

  • Sexual assault
  • Incest
  • Trafficking in children
  • Felony unlawful sexual contact
  • Internet exploitation of a child
  • Enticement of a child

They are subject to special sentencing guidelines, which can include a prison sentence that extends the rest of your natural life, evaluation and treatment for the crimes, intensive supervision outside of prison, and a requirement to register as a sex offender for a period of time in accordance to the crime committed – which can be for life.

If you are facing all of this while knowing you are innocent, you may think a polygraph is your best bet to prove your innocence. However, that is usually not the case in the state.

What Is a Lie Detector Test?

A lie detector test is technically known as a polygraph – and it doesn’t detect lies at all. What it does do: It measures your body’s physical reactions that are supposedly impossible for someone to consciously control, such as pulse, perspiration, blood pressure, and breathing.

The science used as the basis for the polygraph suggests that the way a person answers control and test questions will generate physical responses based on whether they’re telling the truth or not. And while this type of technology has made a lot of advances since it began, it’s still not solid enough to be treated by most courts in the country as reaching the bar for evidence in a trial.

Why don’t courts allow lie detectors as evidence? Mostly because they are subjective, and the person interpreting the results might not account for individual differences, physiological or otherwise, between people. These technical errors coupled with the kinds of questions asked that can wildly skew results make polygraphs unreliable tools to prove your innocence.

Do The Police Use Polygraphs?

While polygraphs may not be admissible as evidence in criminal courts in Colorado, that doesn’t mean law enforcement will forego using them when investigating crimes. Police often use polygraphs for investigations.

They may try to convince someone that refusing to take a polygraph will make them look guilty, but it’s important to understand that you are under no obligation to prove your own innocence. When being accused of a crime, the burden in on the government to show you committed it, not on you to prove you did not.

If you have questions about polygraphs, talk to an attorney. Never agree to one if you are being questioned by police until you have consulted with an attorney, too. You never know where this quasi-scientific method can lead you – even if you are innocent.


About the Author:

Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.