Remaining silent upon being questioned about or charged with a crime contributes to a better defense. Providing too much information during questioning could even lead to an ill-advised admission of guilt. Once you admit guilt, the situation has now become extremely serious and difficult. Yet, the situation is not hopeless. A skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to navigate the circumstances of your case and provide effective representation.
Admitting Guilt Complicates Matters
Admitting guilt is unnecessary since you do have a right to remain silent. Consider it best to remain silent to avoid the resultant legal defense fallout. Admitting guilt outright complicates a defense in the following ways:
- Plea deals become harder to acquire because a "not guilty" verdict is less likely.
- Winning at trial is extremely difficult since the admission of guilt is entered into evidence.
- Sentencing could end up being harsher.
Pointing out these facts is not done to lead anyone to believe a situation is utterly hopeless. Rather, noting the seriousness of the situation is necessary. Defendants must understand the importance of hiring a criminal defense lawyer able to overcome the hurdle of an admission of guilt.
The Aggravated Assault Example
Imagine a scenario where someone is intoxicated and becomes belligerent at a bar. Once law enforcement arrives at the scene to deal with the person, a physical altercation. The bar patron's scuffle with the two police officers devolves into a full-blown fight. Eventually, the police subdue the patron.
Upon being arrested, the defendant makes a statement he positively did refuse to co-operate with the officers and strike one of them.
The official charges end up being two counts of aggravated assault and one count of disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and resisting arrest. The defendant has already admitted to striking a responding officer while intoxicated so the case seems open and shut.
Actually, a door to a more beneficial defense may have been opened.
The Attorney Seeks and Agreeable Outcome
A defendant could be facing many years in jail if being found guilty on all charges. A talented criminal defense lawyer could look at the circumstances of the case and present a defense that might be agreeable to all parties involved.
The defendant admitted to striking one officer, not both. The defendant also has a clean record and has never in trouble with the law before. The attorney informs the court the client will plead "no contest" to the one charge of striking one of the officer provided the other charges are withdrawn.
The judge could them immediately sentence the client without any need for a costly, drawn out trial. The end result would be far less jail time or, possibly, even just probation had the case gone to trial and all the charges were presented to a jury.
With the right attorney, your defense could follow the best approach leading to the best outcome given the circumstances. (for information on contacting a criminal defense attorney, see Guth Law Offices LLC or another lawyer)