We are often asked whether lie detector test evidence can be submitted to courts in the Republic of Ireland. The short answer is it can and indeed has been many times.
However, only a judge can decide whether or not to allow polygraph test results to be admitted. The judge will also decide how much importance such evidence has. Lie detector test evidence is no different from any other type of forensic evidence produced to prove a case.
The law and polygraph awareness
Usually there’s no problem submitting lie detector test results as evidence to Family Law, Criminal or Civil Courts. Occasionally the prosecutor or other side opposes the submission. It is essential that you have a solicitor who will go the extra mile in presenting a strong case emphasising why the polygraph evidence should be admitted. Using applicable laws your solicitor will be able to achieve this.
Some solicitors may resist the use of polygraph results as evidence. They are wholly negative and likely to tell you that the court won’t accept it. They may not even want to countenance a lie detector test as an option to prove your case. If this happens you may wish to review your choice of legal representative and obtain a second opinion.
Polygraph examiners are called to testify in a variety of court cases, the length and breadth of Ireland.
Notifying the judge
It’s important to notify the judge at the earliest opportunity if you intend to admit lie detector test evidence. This avoids any last minute hitches. The polygraph examiner who administered your test will need to testify and be available on the day of the hearing. Without the examiner present, your test evidence will be valueless.
Settling out of court
Polygraph evidence is a powerful tool for settling cases out of court. It can be used to discredit prosecution or opposing witnesses in terms of their honesty. It may create sufficient doubt for the charges to be dropped.
In a civil case involving compensation or other financial gain polygraph results may convince solicitors to reach an agreement without going into court.
In cases where an admission of fault is required, the polygraph may elicit a confession before or after the results are known.
Value of lie detector test evidence
Polygraph evidence alone is rarely enough to make a case successful in court. Other corroborative or supportive evidence is needed if you want to win your case.
However, your lawyer will normally state in court that you have taken a voluntarily polygraph test and no deception was found. This will be logged in the minds of those in court so will make a positive impression.
The inclusion of test results can make the difference between winning and losing but always it will be at the discretion of the judge, whether or not to allow them.
Need more information about polygraph services in Ireland? Contact us for an informal and confidential chat about your specific requirements.