Probation and Polygraph Examinations in Sex Cases

| Jan 30, 2011 | Criminal Defense |

In Ex Parte Dangelo, a case out of the Fort Worth Court of Appeals, the defendant had a Fifth Amendment right not to answer proposed polygraph examination questions about whether, since being on probation, he had sexual contact with minors.  The question asked about independent crimes rather than mere community supervision violations.  The following are the polygraph questions asked of the defendant:

1.  SInce you have been on probation, have you violated any of the conditions?

2.  Since you have been on probation, have you had sexual contact with any persons younger than 17?

3.  Since you have been on probation, have you tried to isolate any child for sexual purposes?

4.  Since you have been on probation, have you intentionally committed any sexual crimes?

The court wrote, “The first question asks only about community supervision violations, not about independent criminal activity, and the defendant therefor does not have a Fifth Amendment right to not answer the question.

The defendant did have that protection on the other questions.