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Should I Admit Guilt to My Attorney?

All lawyers have an ethical responsibility to vigorously advocate for their client. In California, a lawyer must put his or her client’s interest above all—even if a client admits guilt. This is because a lawyer never knows if the client is being coerced, protecting someone else close to them, or is not of right mind when admitting guilt.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

attorney client privilegeEvery American citizen has the constitutional right to a presumption of innocence; that means you are innocent unless the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime for which you’re charged.

Your defense attorney’s role is to weaken the prosecution’s evidence against you. If the prosecution has not met their burden of proof, then they have not done enough to justify convicting you of a crime.

When the founding fathers drafted the constitution, they realized that it was better to let a hundred guilty persons go free than to imprison one innocent man for crimes he did not commit. This is because freedom and liberty is held most dear. That is why the prosecution’s burden to prove that you are guilty rather than your criminal defense attorney’s burden to prove that you are innocent.

How Much Information is Too Much?

Many attorneys have different styles and preferences about what they want to know and not know. Because a criminal case is all about what the prosecution needs to prove, some attorneys think the less they know the better. This school of thought allows your attorney to remain as objective as possible and not let any subconscious bias interfere with presenting your best defense.

On the other hand, your defense attorney has an ethical duty not to present evidence or argue something he or she knows to be false. By doing so, your lawyer would be violating his duty of candor to the court and quite possibly be committing perjury. Rather, he must present the facts as he or she knows them in the best light to your case.

tell truth to attorneyDue to the fact that criminal defense attorneys have different approaches to how they defend a client, you should let the lawyer direct your actions when you speak to him. If he tells you he wants to know the truth about what happened, you should tell him the truth. However, understand if you tell him “one truth” at the outset of the case and later want to change your “truth,” it can complicate your attorney’s ability to effectively defend you.

If your lawyer tells you what the penalties are for the crime you are facing and tells you what the defenses are to the crime before asking you for your version of events, keep that in mind. Your truth as to what happened may match an effective defense strategy that could lead to a more positive outcome in your case.

The bottom line is that your lawyer is retained to believe you and fight for you. Your attorney is not there to challenge your version of the events. On the other hand, if you are asking your defense lawyer to present a defense that is almost certain to lead to your conviction, you should take your attorney’s advice to avoid this likely outcome.

Call the Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, you need to contact an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney immediately. Our skilled attorneys will vigorously defend you and will be able to present the best factual and legal defenses available to you.

At Wallin & Klarich, we have been successfully defending clients facing both state and federal charges for over 35 years. We will meet with you immediately to review the facts of your case, and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the very best outcome possible.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

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About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.