Do I have the right to refuse a polygraph test?

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Do I have the right to refuse a polygraph test?

My place of employment was victim of a larceny of a controlled substance. I have been asked by the detective handling the case asked if I would take a polygraph. I assumed that this was a way to prove my innocence and be done with the situation. After recieving unsolicited legal advice by the retired police chief of the place the incident occurred, I have agreed to be questioned without legal representation. Do I have the right to now refuse to the polygraph? I will cooperate willfully to questioning but want a lawyer present so I feel comfortable and not pressured to answer questions that I have no first hand knowledge of.

Asked on August 18, 2013 under Criminal Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can refuse to take this polygraph if you choose not to, no matter what you initially agreed to. In fact you don't even have to any conversation at all with the police if you don't want to; this is true even if they come to your house. By all means at this point you should consult direcly with a criminal law attorney ASAP.

Whatever you do, under no circumstances should you speak with the police without having an attorney present. No matter how innocent you may or may not be, you could say something incriminating about yourself or others regarding the incident being investigated. If you speak to them without having a lawyer to protect your interests, it is to their benefit. They will try to get you to implicate yourself. Therefore, no matter how friendly they may appear or no matter how threatening they may seem, do not speak to them without legal counsel. 


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