Good people get into bad situations. Respectable people sometimes find themselves in a position to have to do disrespectful things. It is no wonder why criminal defense attorneys are in such high demand. Especially those you have a good trial record. But what do you tell your criminal defense attorney? The big question is, if you are guilty, does a Criminal Defense Attorney Have to Know the Truth?
There are a lot of issues here when talking about the issues of guilt and innocence. On one hand by admitting guilt to your lawyer you do limit the range of effectiveness he or she may have in defending you. After all if you are guilty and they know it they cannot put you on the stand where you may be forced to incriminate yourself and may commit perjury.
A lot of criminal defense attorneys will want you to tell them everything that happened. After all they cannot make true decisions for your defense if they do not know the whole story. For instance they may need the information in order to decide whether or not your case should go to trial.
History counts for a lot as well. For instance extenuating circumstances may cause for extraordinary measures being needed. Murder is charged, but a history of abuse and physical danger may make the jury see a justifiable self-preservation. If you do not tell the whole story then your criminal defense lawyer does not know you may have a case because the police officer involved with your arrest violated your rights during your arrest.
On the other hand a criminal defense lawyer may ask for only enough to determine interest in the case. That way they can add their own research, and can build a defense, only asking the questions that need answering.
Smart criminal defense lawyers will only ask what is needed and what will make your case its strongest. This may seem distasteful. This may seem unethical. This may seem sleazy. This may seem slimy. It is not. It is smart and by the book lawyering. It is the job of any criminal defense lawyer to put the best defense forward for you, guilty or not.
It is your right as an American, and your right as a human to be defended. Guilty or not, innocent or not. You all deserve the best defense and the best shot at dignity that can be provided your case. It is the lawyers’ duty to do this by any means legal, and any means necessary. Whatever your particular circumstances a good lawyer will provide the best options. If the truth needs to be known, they will ask. If it does not, sometimes a lawyer can work better in the dark. That’s just the way it is.