It might help if you understand that your lawyer isn’t there to decide whether you’re innocent or guilty. He or she is there to be your advocate and ensure that you’re treated fairly through the legal system – and to figure out whether the prosecution has enough evidence to prove that you committed a crime.
How to Discuss Your Case with Your Criminal Defense Attorney
Most criminal defense lawyers want you to explain your side of the story so they can build a solid defense. Remember, your attorney doesn’t want to deal with surprises in the courtroom any more than you do.
Typically, your attorney will ask you specific questions to get to the facts – and you should simply answer those questions. Let your lawyer guide the conversation.
What Your Lawyer Needs to Know
Your lawyer can’t ethically allow you to commit perjury, or testify with something you know to be false. Even if you admit guilt to your attorney, he or she might advise you to go to trial anyway; there are several reasons this could happen in your case, including:
- Someone violated your rights (typically the police or prosecutors)
- You’re guilty of lesser crimes than those that you’re charged with
- You may have a chance at a more positive outcome in front of a judge
- Prosecutors refuse to negotiate or try to give you an unreasonable plea bargain
Even if you are guilty of the crimes the prosecution says you have committed, your lawyer can still find ways to argue that you should be acquitted. Your attorney is there to make sure that your rights are preserved and that you get a fair trial.