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Can a police officer refuse to let me see evidence he claims proves I committed a crime?

When a police officer is interviewing (interrogating) a criminal suspect, the officer may claim to have evidence that proves that the suspect is guilty.  Under Utah criminal law, if the suspect requests to see the evidence during an  lawe  interview, the officer is not required to show the evidence to the suspect.

There are a variety of reasons that a police officer might refuse to show a suspect the evidence against him/her.  It may be that the evidence is not readily available.  Or it may be that the evidence does not exist and the officer is only bluffing.

Under Utah law, police officers are allowed during an interview of a suspect to present information to a suspect that is not factually true.  Some consider this to be a legitimate interrogation tactic.  Others consider it to be a lie.  But Utah courts have sanctioned the practice.

If you are charged with a crime in Utah, you will have the opportunity to see the evidence against you.  Even if police refuse to show you the evidence during their investigation, a formal request for discovery under Rule 16 of the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure will require the prosecution to produce copies of all evidence obtained by police during the course of their investigation.

If you find yourself in the position of a suspect in a police interrogation, and police refuse to show you the evidence they claim to have, you should consider the possibility that they are bluffing.  You should also consider your rights to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

If you have been accused of a crime, or if you believe that police may consider you to be a suspect in a criminal case, you have the right to speak to an attorney before answering any questions.  Exercising that right can help give you a better chance of a good outcome in your case.

Contact Salt Lake City defense attorney Stephen Howard to discuss your Utah criminal defense case today.


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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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