Should You Tell Your Criminal Defense Attorney You’re Guilty?
Attorneys must adhere to a standard of legal ethics when representing their clients – and they must represent their clients to the best of their abilities. But, if you are guilty of the crime you are being accused of, do you admit such guilt to your criminal defense attorney? Will they still represent you as vigorously if they know you are guilty?
The criminal justice system has a strict process of discovery, investigations, trials and appeals. That is to help ensure that those innocent or guilty are always given a fair trial, as their constitutional rights demand. Also, it is your attorney’s job to resolve any charges against you – not morally judge you. Therefore, as you discuss the circumstances of your case with the attorney, you may want to be honest and admit to guilt.
The Burden of Proof
Despite your attorney’s knowledge of your guilt, the state has the burden of proof – not the defense. Therefore, the prosecutors have taken the time to file charges and under the law they must now prove in court that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high standard to be met and even if you are in fact guilty, not all states can meet such burden.
In the United States, a person is innocent until proven guilty in the courts. Innocent is not a prerequisite to criminal defense, and regardless of guilt, you deserve a criminal attorney to resolve your case and help navigate through the legal complexities of the criminal justice system.
An Attorney Can Negotiate a Resolution
If you are guilty or there is more to your case than guilt or innocence, you must realize that facts are subject to interpretation and there are circumstances that can mitigate one’s guilt. If you acted under duress or in self-defense, for example, you did not intentionally commit the crime you are being accused of.
It is your lawyer’s job to interpret all facts of your case and within the context of the law. They will look for errors in criminal procedure or find technical reasons to request a motion to dismiss the case. Perhaps you are guilty of something, but the bottom line is that you may not be guilty of as severe of a crime as you are being charged with.
Your criminal defense attorney is your advocate and expert negotiator. They will help you receive a less severe punishment even if you decide to plead guilty to the crime. An attorney can assist you with negotiating a sentence that has less jail time or no jail time or they can work with the state’s attorney to find an alternative sentencing option.
Speak With an Attorney – Regardless of Guilt or Innocence
An attorney will assess the legal facts of the crime from only the legal aspect – not the moral aspect. Your attorney is your trusted counsel and regardless of guilt or innocence, you have the right to that expertise. Contact The Armstrong Law Group, P.A. today regarding your case by calling 904-356-8618 or by contacting us online.