This subject has been the subject of ongoing debate in law classrooms all over the country – how to best defend guilty clients. As far as legal principles go, guilty clients deserve as vociferous a defense as innocent clients do.
It is also important that your defense counsel is prepared for whatever the prosecution will reveal. The discovery process is often quite illuminating, but not necessarily in a good way in criminal cases where the defendants haven’t been honest with their attorneys.
Things to also keep in mind
Attorneys cannot suborn perjury and expect to continue practicing law. What that means practically for defendants is that their attorney will not put them on the witness stand if the attorney knows that their client will lie (commit perjury).
Doing so is known as the subornation of perjury and is a crime in and of itself. How this could affect your case depends on how and what you reveal to your attorney. It can be quite helpful to allow the criminal defense attorney to lead the conversation and then frame your answers accordingly.
Some defense attorneys will plainly state that they don’t want the client to declare their guilt or innocence. Others might speak in hypothetical terms when discussing any alleged involvement in the accused crime, at least initially. It’s generally best to take the issue up with your attorney and follow their guidance.
Why that could matter
Addressing your legal concerns in that manner can alert an astute criminal defense attorney to potential weaknesses in the case without fully exposing all elements to the light. Those elements may eventually be necessary to reveal, such as when the defense attorney recommends seeking a plea bargain from the prosecution.