How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You When You’ve Been Arrested for a Crime

When you’ve been arrested for a crime, it can be difficult to know what to do next. You could be facing large fines, felony convictions, or prison time, and you’ll want a criminal defense lawyer to help you with your case. It’ll be challenging to represent yourself, no matter how smart you are.

How a Criminal Lawyer Defends an Arrested or Guilty Party

Most people who are looking to hire a defense lawyer want to know if admitting guilt is the right choice. Some aren’t even sure if hiring a lawyer is a good idea, but it is. Here’s why.

Can a Defense Lawyer Defend Someone Who’s “Guilty?”

Yes, a criminal defense attorney, whether they’re based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, or San Jose, California, can defend a person who is guilty of a crime. A defense attorney typically won’t ask you if you’re guilty anyway because it isn’t their job to find out. Their job is to defend you.

That means that they’ll defend you against the charges that were presented. In the US, there has to be “probable cause” that you committed a crime. At trial, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime, making conviction difficult.

Should I Tell My Defense Lawyer I’m Guilty Anyway?

Even if you’re positive you’re guilty and you admit to your lawyer that you are, your lawyer will never know if you’re telling the truth. Whether you’re guilty or innocent, it won’t change how your lawyer represents you unless you admit that you planted evidence or lied during questioning.

Your lawyer can’t lie if they know information pertaining to your guilt or offer tampered evidence in court. If they do this, it’s considered malpractice. Remember that attorney-client privilege protects communication between you and your attorney, so your confession won’t be repeated.

Should I Get a Defense Lawyer if I’m Guilty?

If the prosecution has enough evidence to prove you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you should still speak to a lawyer. At that point, your lawyer can give you suggestions on how you can lower your sentence. For example, pleading guilty may lower jail time from 20 years to 5.

You should never represent yourself in court, no matter how much evidence the prosecution has against you. The way you present yourself in court, your tone, and your reaction to the evidence can make the situation worse. A lawyer can coach you on how to handle court proceedings.

Why Get a Lawyer If I’m Knowledgeable About the Law?

No matter how smart you think you are, the prosecutor and judge will be smarter than you. Most lawyers won’t even represent themselves because of how emotional the trial process can be. If you’re in jail awaiting trial, it will be even harder for you to build your case without the internet.

When you hire an expert criminal defense attorney, you benefit from their:

- Knowledge of the Criminal Law System: Your lawyer has studied and trained to understand all aspects of criminal law and court procedures.
- Negotiation Skills: Prosecutors sometimes take advantage of clients that represent themselves, but a defense lawyer can negotiate plea bargains or other sentences.
- Psychological Support: It’s hard to prepare for a case when you’re full of emotions. A defense lawyer can remain objective, supportive, and insightful during the process.
- Resources: Clients who represent themselves can’t hire investigators or look at crime scene evidence, but lawyers can. They can also find witnesses for their cases.

For many reasons, self-representation is a really bad idea. However, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney will improve your chances of winning or getting a better plea bargain.

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Posted - 04/20/2022