Modern police officers do have restrictions about things they can do during an interrogation. For instance, the use of physical force is prohibited. We take this for granted today, but it was not always the case.
What you may be wondering is if the police also have to be honest with you. In the same way that you’re expected to tell the truth under oath, do the police officers have to be honest when they’re conducting an interrogation? Or are they allowed to lie to you?
In most cases, they can lie
There are some situations in which police have to be honest, but they are generally allowed to lie at (almost) any time. Police officers who are under oath have to be honest, of course, but most conversations are not going to take place in a courtroom. Lying is not illegal, and the things that you say after they lie to you may still be used against you.
For instance, police officers will sometimes lie about having testimony from someone that incriminates the individual they’re interrogating. What they are hoping is that this individual will admit to the crime, believing that they’ve already been found out and that their guilt is known. But the police never had this testimony from anyone else, so they’re just trying to manipulate the person into giving a confession.
Unfortunately, this tactic leads to a lot of false confessions, especially among young people. Those who are facing criminal charges must be well aware of all of their legal options. When in doubt, it is never a good idea to talk to the police without your legal team at your side.