When facing criminal charges, some defendants feel the need to share their guilt with their attorney. While honesty can be important, it can also limit the defending attorney's ability to say or do certain things which may jeopardize your case. Below are two consequences of an admission of guilt to your attorney, as well as one benefit:
Your Lawyer Cannot Put You on the Stand
You've gone ahead and admitted guilt to your lawyer. As an officer of the court, your lawyer is not allowed to participate in acts of perjury, which is what would happen if they put you on the stand.
There are a number of reasons a defendant may not testify. While the court system may instruct the jurors that guilt cannot be automatically inferred due to non-testimony, the reality is, some jurors may infer guilt.
Your Lawyer Cannot Explicitly State Your Innocence
When you admit guilt, you bar your attorney from being able to make claims of innocence on your behalf. While not always detrimental to the case, it can be the final nail in the coffin if there's other evidence lending to your guilt.
It's important to understand that many guilty people get off because the prosecution didn't prove their case. The prosecution is responsible for proving your guilt. So, even if you are guilty, they need to appropriate evidence to prove so. In cases without much clear evidence, your lawyer can work around your guilt by poking holes in the prosecution's story, and showing that they've yet to prove your guilt.
Your Lawyer Can Better Advise You
The above two consequences are important to consider, but it's also important to consider that admitting guilt to your attorney can help them to better advise you.
If you've committed a crime with substantial evidence against you, admitting your guilt to your attorney can help you to avoid a long legal battle and can lessen your punishment. While this can usually be done without an admission of guilt, it may help your attorney when it comes to negotiating a plea bargain, especially if you have information on others who were involved.
Admitting guilt to your attorney should be seriously considered. While there are a few consequences of such admissions, there are a few benefits as well, such as an honest relationship with your attorney and a possible bargaining chip when it comes to making a plea bargain. To learn more, or if you have other questions, contact a criminal lawyer.