4 Things You Can't Expect From Your Defense Attorney
You should expect your defense attorney to work hard on your behalf to defend you and to help you be treated fairly by the criminal justice system. But there are four things that you can't reasonably expect them to do or to do.
1. They can't keep incriminating evidence safe for you.
If you committed a crime using a weapon, you can't turn it over to your lawyer and expect this to be kept out of trial or out of the prosecution's hands under client-attorney privilege. This restriction includes any physical evidence that is considered instrumental to a crime. Your lawyer would be obligated to turn these items over to the police.
2. They won't lie for you or withhold information about your future criminal plans.
A lawyer won't ask you to confess to them, and if you did, this would be protected under attorney-client privilege. While they can't lie for you in any way, they will go to court and raise reasonable doubt about your guilt, or work hard to get you a decent plea deal, because this is their job in keeping the justice system balanced.
You should know that attorney-client privilege does not extend to future plans to commit crimes. If you tell an attorney about these, they are also required to make disclosure about these to the authorities, especially if this involves harm to other people.
3. They can't defend you so aggressively that they would ruin their own reputation.
Your attorney will want to give you the best defense possible, but there are some things they won't do. For example, it is permissible for them to offer a 'another person did it scenario' to suggest that you weren't the only one that could have done the crime. They may offer evidence that it likely that someone else did it.This is to increase the chances that the jury will conclude there is too much reasonable doubt to convict you. However, they likely will not vilify another person who is not being tried for the crime and try to pin it on them indiscriminately.
Your attorney may produce evidence/expert testimony that the prosecution's case is faulty, but they also won't make an all-out attack on the police who worked on the case.
Also, they will not victimize the victim in the case for the second time. In other words, while they may question some statements the victim makes, they aren't going to go after them full throttle (unless it is evident from the evidence that the person is lying).
This is because the jury would likely consider them to be bullying witnesses or victims, and it would be counterproductive. Even if this behavior resulted in you being acquitted (though it is apparent from the evidence that you were likely guilty), the bad publicity from this could destroy an attorney's reputation and career.
4. They won't abandon their ethics for you.
To sum it all up, you can expect your attorney to use their expertise and experience to give you the best defense possible. What you can't demand is for your attorney to do things that aren't ethical, legal, or wise.
For more information, contact firms like R. Patrick McPherson Attorney At Law.