Criminal defense can be an interesting but extremely complex area of law. There is no other topic as controversial and subjective as the topic of morality. One of the greatest ethical dilemmas is perhaps faced by criminal defense lawyers who must help their client to win their
cases. An attorney’s job is to protect their client’s rights instead of making judgments.
A criminal defense attorney can rightfully refuse to take someone they think is guilty as their client. However, there are various lawyers who take cases even though they believe their client is guilty of the accused charges. If you were accused of a crime, you must be scared and confused about your next steps. To know more and hire an attorney, click here.
Can an attorney make judgments on who is guilty and who is not?
Generally, no. The job of attorneys is to ensure their client’s rights remain protected throughout the case. Regardless of guilt, federal law gives everyone, even the one who has committed the most heinous crimes, the right to retain an attorney and cross-examine the party. To declare someone guilty, there must be enough evidence.
The criminal defense attorney is simply there to uphold your constitutional rights. One of the ethics of a good lawyer is to never make moral judgments about their clients but work on protecting them. The lawyer’s duty throughout the case will be to defend your rights.
Factual guilt vs. legal guilt
Factual guilt is being guilty in real life, while legal guilt is being guilty in the eyes of the law. Sometimes, one who is factually guilty may not be legally guilty. Regardless of the crime committed, one cannot be assumed guilty unless proven in a court of law. The other party must have sufficient evidence to convict the defendant.
However, the lawyer is not allowed to manipulate reality or lie to the judge about something their client did, although the lawyer knows the defendant did it. A good lawyer does not lie to the government but ensures that they are unable to prove all the elements of the crime.
It is not their job to determine the guilt.
At the end of the day, it is not the lawyer’s duty to determine who is at fault. This duty lies with the prosecution and the judge. If you were accused of a crime you did not commit, or maybe you did commit, consult with an attorney today.