It is the job of every criminal defense lawyer to defend their clients to the best of their ability, regardless of guilt or innocence. Having a defense lawyer is your constitutional right, and your lawyer is ethically bound to provide the best defense possible given your specific circumstances.
Yet that isn’t the only reason why we can and do ethically take on clients that we suspect of guilt.
Proving innocence is not our job.
It’s the prosecutor’s job to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
It is our job to undermine the prosecutor’s case, and to reveal any holes or inconsistencies that might be present in that case.
If the prosecutor does not have the evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, then it’s even our job to convince them to drop or dismiss the charges.
Factual guilt is not the same as legal guilt.
It’s almost impossible to know the truth of what really happened in many situations—even if you walk right up to us and tell us you committed the crime. You could be lying to protect someone else. The number of wrongful convictions obtained through false confessions is another example.
“Factual” guilt is what really happened, an unknowable truth.
Legal guilt is what the prosecutor can prove. The prosecutor can only secure a conviction if they can prove legal guilt.
Our job does not require us to lie for you.
If we know that something is true, then we cannot lie about it. That is an ethical violation. We must find ways to provide zealous representation to ensure your due process without ending up in territory where we might have to lie.
We do encourage you to be honest with us. Your own lies can surprise us and can create problems in trials or even in negotiations to get your charges dropped, dismissed, or deferred. We need to know what’s going on so that we can defend you to the best of our ability.
You have a constitutional right to counsel!
This is perhaps the most important reason. We believe in the Constitution. We believe that the system demands competent defense lawyers as well as rigorous prosecutors.
Your worst day or worst mistake or being falsely accused does not have to define the rest of your life. With help from a competent Houston defense attorney the consequences of your arrest may be mitigated.
If you’re in trouble, don’t delay. Call our offices to schedule a case review today.
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