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Unmasking the Truth: How Polygraph Exams Aid in Criminal Cases

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

By Jason Holt (Polygraph Tulsa, Oklahoma Licensed Polygraph Examiner)


In the pursuit of justice, finding the truth is paramount. Criminal cases often involve subjective testimonies, making it challenging to ascertain the veracity of statements given by defendants, witnesses, and victims. However, one tool that has gained significant attention in recent years is the polygraph exam. Let’s explore how taking a polygraph exam can help in your criminal case, whether it be in Tulsa or anywhere in Oklahoma.

What is a Polygraph Exam?

A polygraph exam, commonly known as a lie detector test, measures various physiological responses to determine truthfulness or deception. The exam typically involves the use of a polygraph instrument that monitors these physiological indicators while the subject is asked a series of questions. Experienced polygraph examiners can interpret the results by analyzing the changes in the subject's physiological responses.

Potential Benefits of Polygraph Exams in Criminal Cases

  1. Evidence Evaluation: Polygraph exams can provide additional evidence while investigating and evaluating the credibility of witnesses or suspects. They offer a means to determine if an individual is telling the truth or attempting to deceive investigators.

  2. Case Preparation: Polygraph exams can help both the prosecution and the defense to build a stronger case strategy. By identifying areas of potential deception or inconsistencies in statements, attorneys can focus their efforts on these key aspects during the trial.

  3. Screening Witnesses: Polygraph exams can be used to screen witnesses or informants before utilizing their testimony in court. Ensuring the credibility and veracity of witnesses' statements can significantly strengthen the case and safeguard against false or misleading testimony.

  4. Probation and Parole: Polygraph exams can be useful in monitoring individuals on probation or parole. Regular exams act as a deterrent against potential criminal behavior and help in detecting if the individual is involved in activities that violate their release conditions.

Limitations and Controversies Surrounding Polygraph Exams

Like any tool, polygraph exams have their limitations and are not infallible. It is important to consider the following aspects:

  1. Accuracy: While polygraph exams tend to be accurate, they are not considered foolproof.

  2. Subjectivity: The interpretation of polygraph results relies on the examiner's expertise, making it susceptible to subjective biases. It is crucial to ensure the examiner is qualified, experienced, licensed, and follows ethical standards to minimize any potential bias.

  3. Admissibility in Court: Admissibility of polygraph results as evidence varies across jurisdictions. Many courts view polygraph results as inadmissible due to concerns about accuracy, subjectivity, and potential for manipulation. However, many criminal case decisions made in Oklahoma are made with the results of a polygraph exam in mind.


Polygraph exams offer a unique perspective in criminal cases, providing valuable information that can aid in investigations, witness screening, and case preparation. While they may not be foolproof, their usage can act as an additional tool to assess the truthfulness of individuals involved. Ultimately, the decision to employ polygraph examinations should be made in consultation with legal professionals and within the framework of relevant legal procedures and guidelines.

Jason Holt is located in Tulsa and is an Oklahoma licensed, insured, and professional polygraph examiner. He is a member of the American Polygraph Association (APA), the American Association of Police Polygraphists (AAPP), and is currently appointed to Oklahoma’s Polygraph Examiner Board. Jason ensures he exceeds all continuing education requirements required by the state and the APA. Jason has more than 10 years of experience in all types of polygraph examinations and adheres to very strict standards. For more information and to determine if he can assist you, visit or call Jason at (918) 995-0534. (Polygraph Lie Detector Tulsa)

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