Legal Question in Administrative Law in California

can a police officer lie to you about the law? What to do if you have recorded the conversation and verified it against the vehicle code, which proves that he is misleading you about some provisions that apply to your situation.

Asked on 10/24/12, 10:06 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

The proper forum for resolving differing views about the law, including the Vehicle Code, is the courtroom. A judge is well qualified to decide who is right, and whether the officer in question was lying, misinformed and in error, partly right, giving the right answer to the wrong question, or whatever. If you received a ticket, you have an opportunity to appear to contest it. If you were arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you'll have a trial date set, and will be represented by a public defender if you qualify, otherwise presumably by an attorney in private practice. You could discuss your belief that the officer lied to you with defense counsel, to see if they agree. Whether your recording is admissible evidence is another question, and I doubt that it would be, since secret recording of conversations that a party may presume are private and confidential is in itself a misdemeanor and the recording is inadmissible by statute (Penal Code section 632).

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Answered on 10/24/12, 11:56 am
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

can a police officer lie to you...

Yes. Standard procedure to obtain confessions and statements for evidence.

The recording is not admissible and can not be used for any purpose in court. If you recorded the conversation without his knowledge and consent, you have committed a crime that police and prosecutors take very seriously. You will be charged with a crime if you disclose and admit to the recording.

Go defend the ticket if you want, tell your side of the story, and let the judge decide.

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Answered on 10/24/12, 12:41 pm

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