Polygraphs are designed to detect lies in people. They are often criticized for their accuracy and seldom are their results admitted into evidence without being challenged. In a recent drug case, however, the polygraph was unchallenged, the evidence from a search suppressed, and the charges eventually dropped.
As detailed in the Dallas News, Scarlett Haley took a polygraph test concerning the events of January 7th, 2008 when her home was searched and her boyfriend arrested. Haley passed the polygraph which indicated she was pressured into signing a search consent form for officers who didn’t have a search warrant.
Haley stated the officers threatened her with having her children removed from the home if she didn’t consent to the search. Officers involved in the search all deny her claims. Because she passed the polygraph, however, and the polygraph was not challenged by either the prosecution or the defense, the judge on this case took her word over the testimonies of the officers involved.
District Judge Pat McDowell determined that Haley was telling the truth. The search was considered to be unlawful and any evidence found in the search was ruled inadmissible in her boyfriend’s drug case.
Without the drugs and additional evidence to use in their case against James Aderinboye, the prosecution had to drop all of the charges.
Not only is it highly unusual for charges to be dropped on the basis of polygraph results, it is very unusual that the prosecution didn’t challenge the results. This would indicate that the prosecutor thought the admission of the polygraph results were in the best interest of justice.
This case just goes to show the importance of procedural rules being followed by the police from before charges are even followed. One slip up on evidence handling and the state’s case can fall apart.
Whether you are facing drug charges or charges of assault, being certain you case has been handled correctly from the very beginning is the responsibility of your defense attorney. If you are facing charges and want to be certain your rights are protected at every stage of the game, call me today to discuss the details.