Working With Your Defense Attorney For Your Own Benefit

Posted on: 13 November 2014

When charged with a crime the best thing you can do for yourself is hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. However, all the experience in the world won't help you if you're not willing to be completely truthful with your criminal defense lawyer throughout the case. Many defense attorneys will tell you, clients failing to fully cooperate with them is one way to get a guilty verdict, especially if the real truth comes out in court during a trial:

During Questioning or Detainment

In addition to keeping you out of prison, your lawyer is your advocate throughout the legal process, ensuring that your rights are represented and protected. Part of their job is ensuring that evidence is collected using the proper procedures and protocols, including any statements you make prior to their arrival. Without legal representation, it can be hard to recognize improper evidentiary procedure or unlawful interrogation techniques.

If you have not been accused or charged with a crime, statements you make may still be admissible in court. If you are detained or questioned by law enforcement, you have the right to inquire whether or not you need legal representation, and they are legally required to answer you truthfully.  Even if you're not guilty, having legal representation present during questioning can help you to avoid self-incrimination and keep law enforcement personnel on their best behavior.

The Truth Will Keep You Free

Regardless of what you've told law enforcement up to this point, once you have a chance to speak with your lawyer you need to come clean about everything leading up to and following the events in question. A good attorney can build a viable defense for you, but only if they have all the facts. Bear in mind, once they choose to take your case, attorney/client privilege is assigned and they are legally barred from disclosing anything you tell them which may incriminate you.

By giving your attorney all the facts from your perspective, not a convenient lie, they can determine whether or not charges need to be dropped, how to go about it, and how to build a defense if necessary. Their role is not to judge you, but to defend you as best they can in light of all possible evidence which may be presented. Bear in mind, legal discovery rules require the prosecution to share any and all evidence with your attorney prior to trial, so your lawyer will find out what the police learn one way or another.

No one wants to find themselves on the wrong side of a criminal charge. However, because of the way the American legal system works, you have a number of protections in place to help ensure you have the opportunity to avoid being convicted of a crime you didn't commit. This includes protection from unlawful evidence gathering, and the right to experienced legal representation, both of which are essential.