Should I Tell My Criminal Defense Lawyer That I’m Guilty?
Should You Tell Your Criminal Defense Lawyer If You Are Guilty?
Don’t stress yourself out over the question of whether you should tell your lawyer if you’re guilty. Instead, understand that you will benefit from sharing the full story of how you wound up facing a criminal charge. The more your defense attorney knows about you and your case, the better he/she will be able to argue to have the charge against you dismissed or reduced.
Be Honest and Do Not Hold Back on Details
Definitely tell your lawyer when you are innocent. Criminal defense attorneys go into practice precisely to protect innocent clients from unjust prosecutions and penalties.
If you cannot honestly claim complete innocence, take all the time necessary to explain exactly what happened leading up to the incident that resulted in your arrest and/or charges. Depending on the case, questions you will want to answer without even being asked are:
- Was the alleged assault actually an act of self-defense?
- Did your alleged reckless driving actually result from avoiding a crash?
- Do you have prescriptions for medications that Ohio or the federal Drug Enforcement Administration classify as controlled substances?
- Could this whole situation just be a misunderstanding about borrowing money or property?
Also make sure to go into detail while describing what you did during the incident. Did you fear for your life when you alleged assaulted someone? Did you receive permission to enter that building or to use that friend’s car?
Last, tell your lawyer everything you can about your arrest and interactions with police officers when you were taken into custody and with detectives when you were questioned at the station. Law enforcement officials and officers of the court must follow strict rules when they speak with you prior to arrest, interview you, collect evidence, analyze and store evidence, and inform you of your legal options while reading you your charge.
Everything you share with your own lawyer will be kept confidential. Your Columbus traffic attorney will not run to police or prosecutor to say you confessed. Doing so will violate your lawyer’s professional code of ethics, which requires him to protect information shared in confidence and to always act only in his client’s best interest. What your lawyer will do is use what you told him to either develop a defense strategy or to negotiate a plea deal.
Working for a Dismissal or Reduced Charge
A defense lawyer who learns about mitigating factors or procedural errors has a strong case to make on behalf of his client. For instance, prosecutors cannot use improperly obtained evidence. Self-defense is an exception to laws prohibiting the use of weapons, and laws regarding drug possession contain clauses that permit the use of controlled substances that are legally prescribed to the user.
Whatever the facts of your case, it is always worth talking with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Police and prosecutors make mistakes. The reasons to convict and impose a maximum sentence are rarely as strong as officials contend.
You can put Columbus-based criminal defense lawyer Colin Maher to work for you by calling him at (614) 205-2208 or contacting us online. He cannot agree to represent every potential client, but the initial phone consultation is free.