Why Telling your Criminal Defense Lawyer the Truth is your Best Bet

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One of television’s greatest fictional doctors and misanthropes, Dr. Gregory House, used to mumble “everybody lies” at some point during each episode. Whether or not his statement is true, there is one time when you absolutely shouldn’t lie: when I’m your criminal defense lawyer and you’re describing your case to me. I need to know everything about the events of the day, the details of your personal life and activities, and the events surrounding the crime. The more I know and the more you tell me, the better able to put together a sound defense for you I’ll be.

My Opinion Doesn’t Matter

Even if you didn’t commit the crime you’ve been accused of, there might be things you’re hesitant to share with me. Keep in mind that I won’t think any less of you or form an opinion about your character. Even if I did, it wouldn’t get in the way of my coming up with a strong defense for you to keep you out of jail or to get the best possible sentence for you based on the circumstances.

When you hire me to represent you, we’re entering into a business relationship. It’s my job to represent you in court. It’s your job to provide me with the tools and information to do my best in the courtroom.

Building a Defense

The smallest omissions can impact my ability to build a strong defense for you. Let’s say that on the night of the incident you’re accused of, you were out with an old flame, cheating on your partner. You might tell me that you were out that night, far away from the scene of the crime, but your alibi won’t hold much water if you don’t have someone to verify it. You also need to provide me with the name and contact information of your old flame who can corroborate your story and act as a witness during your trial.

It’s essential for you to tell me who you were with that night, even if it would affect other areas of your life. Think of it this way, would you rather have some explaining to do to your spouse or face jail time because you couldn’t or wouldn’t reveal the whole truth?

I need to know all the details to build the best defense possible. That includes your location at the time of the crime and who you were with. It also includes details about your personal life. For example, if you’re accused of driving under the influence but have been in AA for years and haven’t relapsed, that is something you should tell me. You should also tell me about any mental illness you’ve been diagnosed with, as I might be able to use that information to help you when building your defense.

Attorney Client Privilege

As your attorney, pretty much everything you tell me is protected by confidentiality laws and attorney client privilege. Even if you reveal that you did commit the crime, I’m legally bound by the law not to share that with others, unless you give me explicit permission to do so.

Attorney client privilege means that the prosecution can’t call me to the stand to testify against you during the trial. The details you tell me can’t be used against you as evidence.

Every client’s case is different but what remains the same is the need for absolute honesty. If you need a criminal defense attorney, contact my office today to discuss your options and to start putting together the best possible defense.