Defendants and attorneys must talk about case facts/ truth.
Lawyers need this detail to advise on trial chances and defense theories like self-defense.
With client info and prosecution’s evidence, lawyers craft a strategy.
However, not all lawyers require the same level of detail.
How Bad Is It?
Conversely, numerous lawyers prefer clients to share precise details.
They urge honesty for a strong defense.
This ensures lawyers understand viable options.
For instance, if a woman charged with killing her abusive boyfriend honestly recounts her experience, a lawyer could build a defense around her history of trauma and abuse.
Certain defense lawyers avoid learning exact client actions/ truth to remain flexible in interpreting events.
This relates to ethical limits; they can’t present knowingly false evidence (ABA Rule 3.3).
Thus, clients can’t be coached into perjury, testifying falsely about events.
A Lawyer’s Duty
Defendant admitting guilt to lawyer doesn’t always mean no trial. Attorney might suggest trial if:
- Police/prosecution violated rights (e.g., suggestive lineup).
- Defendant’s actions fit lesser charges than filed.
- Unreasonable plea deal/refusal to negotiate.
- Better judge-imposed sentence expected after full disclosure.
Lawyer can argue for acquittal even with guilty client.
They challenge law enforcement errors, weaken prosecution’s case, raising doubt.
Duty: protect rights, prevent innocent conviction.
Vigorous defense upholds liberties, like freedom from coercion.
Consult a Lawyer
The best strategy for someone facing criminal charges is to follow the lead of an experienced, trusted criminal defense lawyer, and no matter, to be truthful with that lawyer.
An attorney who has your best interests in mind will advise you regarding the possibilities and your best course of action.