I’m Guilty: Should I Tell My Attorney?
The attorney-client privilege is something that is deeply rooted in our justice system. Despite the fact that attorneys are bound by confidentiality, many clients hesitate to tell their lawyers every detail about their case. Others may fabricate the truth because they fear their attorney will judge them or provide lackluster defense if they know they are guilty. These are false notions that will only hurt your case. Here are some reasons why you should be completely honest with your attorney.
Honesty Helps Avoid Surprises
An untold number of defendants have omitted facts when talking with their attorney, only to have evidence presented later in court that proved they were lying. When this happens, your attorney’s hands are tied, as he or she has had no opportunity to craft a defense or challenge the validity of this evidence. It’s better to have everything out in the open to begin with in order to ensure this scenario doesn’t happen.
Doesn’t Affect Defense
Attorneys are bound by a code of ethics to defend their clients, regardless of guilt or innocence. As such, you are still entitled to a diligent defense, even if you are guilty of a crime. Even though you are guilty, your attorney might argue that:
- Police overstepped their bounds in obtaining evidence, and subsequently make a motion to dismiss it
- Your act should be considered a lesser offense rather than the one you are actually charged with
- Eyewitness testimony is inaccurate or tainted
Juries Love Disclosure
If your case does go to trial, you’re more likely to succeed at getting an acquittal if you present all the facts to the jury. By doing so, they’ll be inclined to believe everything else-after all, why would you air your dirty laundry in a court room if you were trying to hide something? On the other hand, if the government can show you are lying, any evidence you present is likely to be shown in an unfavorable light, which can ultimately harm your case.
Even if you don’t obtain an acquittal, the fact that you are truthful can result in a shorter sentence than you would have gotten otherwise. That’s because jurors will believe you are remorseful and not in as much need of rehabilitation as others who have committed the same crime in the past.
When planning a legal defense, it’s always best to be completely honest with your attorney. To successfully defend criminal charges, lawyers and clients must have an open line of communication, which begins with total honesty during the initial consultation.
If you have been arrested and you don’t currently have an attorney, then you need to get one right away, before it’s too late. From the first moment you begin speaking with your attorney, make sure to tell him the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This will assure the best case results.