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Board of public prosecutors confirms: police may not ask you on the phone to participate in a lie detector test

Some time ago, we were told that the police apparently also ask suspects by phone to participate in a lie detector test. We as immediately reacted critically to this. Even the response from the Board of Procurators General is now clear: it cannot be done over the phone.

How does this work?

Imagine you are suspected of something and the police want to question you using a lie detector test.

Normally, you then have to give your written consent twice before the test can and may take place. This is done the first time through an official document called a police report. The second consent is given just before the test is taken, also on paper. At both times, your lawyer may also be present to help you.

This may not be done by phone

But if the police suspect is already asking you over the phone to participate in the lie detector test, it can make you feel not really free to choose. Under the slight pressure of a phone call, it can be difficult to refuse or to ask for a meeting with your lawyer, or even to change your mind later and withdraw consent.

This was our concern before, and the Board of Procurators General has now also responded critically. They have indicated that asking a person over the phone to take a polygraph test (polygraph test) and inquiring about their willingness to undergo the test does not reflect the intention of the legislator or the legal text. The police should always act cautiously so as not to create any kind of influence or pressure.

In short, we are satisfied with the response of the Board of Procurators General, which will be included in circular COL 08/2022.

So are the police allowed to call about a lie detector test?

Yes, the police may call you about such a test. But they are not allowed to ask your permission to take the test. They may only inform you and invite you to the spot to ask the question to participate and seek initial written consent. Moreover, the police should always advise you to be assisted by a lawyer.