The most fundamental idea in criminal law is the notion of due process. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most misunderstood. When accused of a crime, many defendants make the mistake of going out of their way to try and prove their own innocence—whether it’s true or not. As a result, instead of helping their case, they manage to create unnecessary problems.
Due process or “presumption of innocence” is a constitutional right guaranteed by the 5th and 14th amendments. Simply put, it states that a person shall be considered innocent until proven, beyond reasonable doubt, guilty in a court of law. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a good defense.
Although a prosecutor’s job is not always an easy one, if the evidence is there, it may easier than you’d like to believe for the prosecutor to convince a jury of your guilt. This is where a dedicated and experienced defense attorney like Darwyn Easley comes into play.
Focusing on Facts, Not Innocence, to Build a Strong Defense
Any lawyer will tell you that you should always plead not guilty to a crime whether you committed it or not. Why? Because you have more options. However, although your official plea should suggest innocence, you should never lie to your lawyer about the true nature of your guilt. Instead, you should tell him everything you know about the crime and how you were involved in order for him to focus on the best tactics for your defense. Otherwise, if he’s stuck trying to defend an “innocent” plea, he (and you) may wind up going in the wrong direction and helping the prosecution with their case.
Common complications of trying to maintain innocence include:
- Getting caught in a lie. Too often, desperate defendants end up making up stories in order to justify what they have done. Unfortunately, if and when those lies are exposed, the defendant winds up looking guiltier than before.
- Wasted time. If your lawyer isn’t aware of the facts, he’ll wind up basing your entire defense on an illusion. Meanwhile, if the prosecution begins to breakdown that illusion, he and you will be wholly unprepared to reverse direction.
- Blindsiding. In addition to being unprepared as a result of preparing a false defense, if the prosecution does their job and begins to produce evidence of your guilt of which your lawyer was unaware, it may be difficult for him to recover on the spot. Not only does this create a tense situation, but it also implies to the court that you’ve been hiding things from your own lawyer.
On the other hand, by admitting your guilt to your lawyer, you allow him to focus on what needs to be done, not on illusions. The benefits include:
- Focusing on doubt. Remember, the prosecutor must prove guilt without a doubt. Therefore, if your lawyer has the facts, he can focus on pointing out the gaps in the prosecution’s case—especially if the “evidence” against you can be excluded because it wasn’t properly obtained.
- Humanizing you to the court. Instead of lying and building mistrust, your lawyer can use your faults to connect you with the jury. Everyone makes mistakes and by using those mistakes to make the jury relate to you and your predicament, it will make it harder for them to justify guilt.
- Better plea bargains. If your lawyer knows exactly what you did as well as the potential evidence against you, he may be able to negotiate a reasonable plea bargain with the prosecutor—especially if your lawyer can persuade the prosecution that their evidence isn’t enough to prove guilt.
Make sure your past actions don’t haunt you forever by contacting Darwyn Easley toll free at 888-386-3898. Whether you’re guilty or not, you deserve the best defense possible. Come see how the Easley Law Firm will fight to make sure you get just that. Call now!