Marshfield, WI asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Wisconsin

Q: i was on probation and taken to a police department, and was asked to take a voice detection test(like a polygraph)

and asked if i needed a lawyer and they told me no. i was later convicted on that crime is this legal?

2 Lawyer Answers
Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY

A: If you were read your rights and you declined a lawyer prior to taking the voice detection test, then it will most likely stand up. If you were not Mirandized prior to taking the test, then it should have been raised and challenged in the prosecution of your case

1 user found this answer helpful

Emmanuel Muwonge
Emmanuel Muwonge
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Wauwatosa, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: First, I do not know what the basis of your arrest was. I assume you were arrested or stopped, arrested and taken to the police station where you subsequently were ordered to take the test you indicated you took. I also do not know what it is you were convicted of.

Secondly, I do not know why you were stopped and whether or not the officer had probable cause to believe that a crime had taken place or a crime was taking place or a crime was about to take place or any combination thereof. That being the case, I am not sure and cannot begin to say that the stop and subsequent search and or subjecting you to a voice test were legal and justified.

Third, you said you were later on convicted of the same crime but didn't say what you were convicted of.

Having said that, I don't know whether or not you were told what your rights were/are or read them to you usually referred to as Miranda Rights which is usually expressed as being Mirandized by the police officer immediately before securing the details and circumstances that later became the basis of the prosecution. Also, you said you asked them whether or not you needed a lawyer and were told "No". The Police are not in the business of assisting you secure counsel. They have no interest in ensuring you are represented especially because what they want to do is hampered by the presence of a lawyer. Although your Constitutional Right to have counsel present, not every police officer observes such.

If you never waived your right to counsel and demanded counsel what happened after would have been illegal. However, if you were provided with an opportunity to call your lawyer and failed to do so, they may take the position that you waived your right to counsel. The conviction and related activity ought to have taken place while represented. I do not know if you were represented and frankly, cannot begin to say whether or not what happened was legal. If the point of your question was to assess whether or not you have a basis for filing an appeal, you must consult with counsel who handles criminal appeals immediately because you only have so many days within which to file appeal related paperwork.

I hope this helps put in context what you articulated even though my comments here do not have the requisite factual basis. I wish you well and hope that you will be able to successfully accomplish your objectives.

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