If you’re guilty of a crime and you’ve been caught, you’re probably wondering whether telling your Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer the “whole truth and nothing but the truth” is a good idea.
Here’s the deal: your lawyer’s job isn’t to decide whether you’re guilty or innocent. Your attorney’s job is to advocate for you, ensure you get a fair trial, and help you get the best possible outcome.
Should I Admit Guilt to My Lawyer?
Every lawyer is different, and yours will ask questions to get to the facts in your case. Some lawyers want you to tell them everything; others only want to know what the prosecution knows. Further, every case is different; that means it’s a good idea to let your lawyer lead the discussion.
If your Milwaukee criminal defense attorney comes right out and asks, “Did you do it?” you’ll need to answer honestly. If you aren’t telling the truth, you’re preventing your lawyer from doing his or her job.
Why Is It Okay to Admit Guilt to My Lawyer?
The prosecution’s job is to prove that you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; that means a reasonable person would be able to look at the evidence and understand that you committed the crime.
Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is a high standard to meet, but that’s a good thing. For the most part, it prevents us from imprisoning innocent people.
If there’s any way your lawyer can inject doubt about your guilt into a case, he or she will do it. Lawyers are bound to ethical standards, and they must represent their clients’ best interests regardless of their own personal opinions.
With that said, lawyers can’t present evidence they know is false, nor can they make arguments they know are false.
That doesn’t mean that if you admit guilt, your lawyer can’t enter a “not guilty” plea. In cases where the defendant admits guilt, the criminal defense lawyer can attempt to undermine the prosecution’s side of the story and the evidence—if they have any—that the prosecution is presenting in court.
Have You Been Accused of a Crime in Milwaukee or Waukesha?
If you’ve been accused of a crime in Milwaukee or Waukesha, whether you did it or you’re innocent, we’d like to hear your side of the story. We’ll be happy to give you a free case evaluation.
Call us at 414-383-6700 or contact us online. The sooner you tell us what happened, the sooner we can begin building your defense strategy.