Have you ever faced a criminal charge and wondered how a criminal defense lawyer can help you even when you broke the law.
When you’ve done something that’s against the law, it’s normal to entertain thoughts you may be arrested and prosecuted. If you are one of those who wants to know how a criminal defense lawyer can help you, this article will explain just how.
When arrested, you face the possibility of being tried, convicted, and sentenced to whatever prison sentences and penalties statutes have set for your offense. After all, you know what you have done, and that deep in your heart, you’re very much aware of how guilty you are.
However, just because you know that you actually broke the law doesn’t mean a criminal defense attorney won’t be able to do anything for you.
You might think that getting the services of a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer would be pointless since you committed the crime after all.
But lawyers are actually in the best position to provide all the help you need when facing criminal charges.
It’s Legal Guilt, Not Factual Guilt, That Matters
You can confess to criminal defense attorneys you’re guilty of the crime you’re being accused of, and they still won’t care once they have committed to defending you in court.
Even if you admitted guilt to your lawyer, he or she still doesn’t really know you are actually guilty just because you said so. You could admit guilt to take the fall for someone else, or you may be guilty of a different criminal act, but one that is far less serious than the one you’re being prosecuted for.
The primary reason your criminal defense attorney will put up the best possible defense for you even if you admitted committing the crime is that what you did is factual guilt.
Even though all elements of a crime are technically satisfied, factual guilt is not what a trial was put together to establish.
For a criminal trial, the only thing that matters is legal guilt, which the prosecution is tasked to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone charged with a crime is not legally guilty until the prosecution offers enough evidence and testimonies that will convince a judge or jury to hand down a conviction.
In short, you can be factually guilty but still end up not legally guilty, a result that your criminal defense attorney will go above and beyond to obtain.
How Your Attorney Might Defend You In Court
Let’s say that you are facing burglary charges, and you were caught on a CCTV camera breaking and entering into a home and committing the act.
You also admitted to your defense lawyer that it’s really you in the footage, carting away several valuable items lying around the house.
Upon reviewing the video, which is the primary piece of evidence the prosecution has against you, your lawyer realizes that it’s rather grainy and dark, which makes identifying the burglar rather difficult.
Your criminal defense attorney’s duty is to make sure that the prosecution presents only admissible evidence. A defense attorney is an expert and knows what and what not to say to a judge.
In this case your attorney can attack the video evidence and argue that it doesn’t make 100% clear that you, the client, are the one stealing on video, and that it should be declared inadmissible in court.
If the judge does rule that the video evidence is inadmissible, the prosecution would not be able to prove that you did it, and that is all your defense attorney ever cares about. Your case could end up being dismissed and you’ll be able to walk.
A Better Understanding of Your Case
A criminal defense lawyer representing you in court can help you understand your case better.
While preparing for trial, your attorney can brief you on how the legal system works, from court rules and regulations to the best ways to navigate it.
Your defense lawyer can also tell you what to expect during the trial, so you will be prepared for whatever may take place during hearings.
Help Set Up Plea Bargains or Deals
Let’s say that you are factually guilty and the likelihood of prosecutors establishing your legal guilt is high, too.
Criminal defense attorneys aren’t there just to try to win your case for you. They’re also there to negotiate with the prosecutor for a deal or plea bargain that will lead to a reduced sentence or even the dismissal of some of the charges filed against you.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors make such deals all the time, and you can benefit from one if you have the former to help set it up for you.
You may be factually guilty, but it’s not your defense attorney’s job to determine your guilt. Criminal defense lawyers must do everything they can to get the best possible result for your criminal case, whether it’s a dismissal of charges, acquittal, or a reduced sentence.
So, if you ever find yourself charged with a crime, keep in mind that there will always be a criminal defense attorney who can help you, even if you did break the law.
About the Author
Stephanie Gordon currently works as the Content Marketing Strategist for the Arizona Criminal Law Team. Aside from spreading awareness about criminal law and defense, she enjoys reading and trail running with her family and friends.