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Schlaich & Thompson Chartered Bel Air Family, Divorce & Criminal Lawyer

Should You Lie To The Police?


When faced with the possibility of facing a severe criminal sentence, some people choose to lie to the police. Even though this may, at the time, seem like a good idea, it never is.

Rather than lying to the police, there are other, far more useful, actions that an individual can take. By being aware of these actions, it is much easier to prevent an unfortunate legal situation from arising. 

Why Do People Lie To The Police? 

Many people lie to the police for the following reasons:

  • The penalties for being convicted of the crime they are accused of are severe.
  • A friend is being accused of something serious and they want to protect their friend.
  • They are nervous and massage the truth of what has occurred.

Every single one of these reasons is valid and understandable. But, despite this being the case, lying to the police, no matter the reason, is a crime. A crime that comes with significant penalties. 

What Can Happen If You Lie To The Police? 

A person who lies to the police can be charged under two legal jurisdictions:

  • The state laws of
  • The Federal laws of the United States.

Each one of these jurisdictions has its own set of laws relating to the act of lying to the police.

Within the State of Maryland, lying to the police is a crime that can lead to the following charges:

  • Being ordered to spend up to six months in jail.
  • Being ordered to pay a fine that is no more than $500.

On the Federal level, lying to the police is a crime that can lead to the following charges:

  • Being ordered to spend up to five-years in prison.
  • Being ordered to spend up to eight-years in prison, if the lies were related to terrorism-related offenses.

Given the severity of these charges, lying to the police is never a good idea. 

What Should You Do Instead? 

Rather than lying to the police, an individual who is confronted by the police should take the following actions:

  • Speak to the police outside of their home, rather than inviting the officers in; unless, of course, the officers possess a valid warrant.
  • Ask for identification, to clarify the identity of each officer and to verify that the officers are, in fact, police officers.
  • Tell the officers that they know have the right to an attorney and are choosing to exercise that right before saying anything to the police.

Each one of these decisions can, and will, prevent an individual from lying to the police. But, to go along with that, these decisions also prevent an individual from revealing incriminating information, when speaking to the police. 

Do You Need Legal Help? 

If you need legal assistance with a criminal case in Maryland, it can be greatly beneficial to contact a trusted Bel Air criminal lawyer. The lawyers at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered in Bel Air, Maryland, have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in criminal and family law. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.


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