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Tampa Criminal Lawyer > Blog > Criminal > The Reid Technique Is As Scary As It Sounds, But You Have The Right Not To Get Drawn Into It

The Reid Technique Is As Scary As It Sounds, But You Have The Right Not To Get Drawn Into It


Perhaps you know someone who has a way of taking everything you say and do and interpreting it in a way that reflects negatively on you.  Maybe you have a jealous ex who would accuse you of cheating whenever you came home late, but when you came home early, she said it was because you were trying to hide the fact that you were cheating.  When you eat junk food, your mother might tell you that you are one snack away from type II diabetes, but when you abstain from it, she might say that you are one non-snack away from an eating disorder.  You quickly learn to avoid friends who act like this, and with enough practice, it is possible to set boundaries with family members who do.  It is obvious to every therapist, and even to every 18-year-old who moved out of the family home a few months previously, that this is not how responsible adults should behave.  Certainly, it should not fly in a court of law; divorce court judges shut down this kind of behavior all the time.  Why, then, are investigators allowed to do it when interrogating a suspect accused of a crime.  It is the Reid technique, and it flies in the face of “innocent until proven guilty” and virtually every other principle of justice.  A Tampa criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid unfair interrogation tactics such as the Reid technique.

What Is the Reid Technique, and Why Does It Still Exist?

Before he developed the interrogation technique that bears his name, John Reid worked as a polygraph expert.  A polygraph is a device that purports to be able to tell when you are lying, but its effectiveness has been disproven; what a polygraph reads as a lie is just the defendant’s physiological response to fear.  The Reid technique is just a polygraph test without the lie detector machine.

John Reid outlined the Reid technique in nine steps, but in summary, it is a choreographed interrogation which ends with the investigator deciding that the defendant is guilty, no matter what the defendant says or does.  The Reid technique has been producing false confessions since its maiden voyage.  Despite this, police departments and federal agencies have been using it for decades and show no signs of stopping.  The worst part is that defendants have the right not to participate, but investigators steamroll over their rights.

The best way to avoid the Reid technique is to exercise your right to remain silent.  Do not let police officers entice you into a conversation, no matter how innocent it seems.  Do not answer any questions until after you have met privately with your criminal defense lawyer.

Contact Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Bryant Scriven

A criminal defense lawyer can help you exercise your rights as a defendant, including the right not to answer misleading and manipulative questions.  Contact Scriven Law in Tampa, Florida to schedule a consultation.



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