3 Things A Defense Attorney Wishes Everyone Knew
1) The reason we don't want you talking to the cops.
I have read so many police reports where the evidence was lacking until my client confessed, or even denied wrongdoing, but got talked into a corner or misquoted by the police.
"The suspect was hesitant to answer, then claimed he had not touched his wife and she had fallen down."
"Arrestee was evasive with his answers and spoke rapidly, insisting that the drugs were for his personal use only."
"When I asked her if she knew the car was stolen, she said no. I asked how she got the vehicle and she said her friend gave her the vehicle to use a few hours prior. She knew the friend only as 'Brittany' and did not want to give me more information. I asked her if she questioned the fact that the car was spray painted and she said no. I asked her if she found it unusual that the car started with a screwdriver and she could not give me an answer."
All of these are more harmful than you saying nothing, and all of these people were going to get arrested no matter what they said to the police. So please, remain silent, and don't incriminate yourself, and don't help the police incriminate you.
2) We are not all "working for the DA."
Sometimes people understandably feel like there is a conspiracy between the defense attorneys and the prosecution. I see how it can feel like a betrayal when your attorney goes into court and they seem to be friendly toward the prosecutor who wants to send you to prison. It's hard to trust that your attorney has your best interests at heart, but a skilled criminal defense attorney will know the importance of earning and keeping your trust by helping you understand the process and strategy in your case, so that you can relax knowing that your attorney is truly on your side.
3) No two cases are the same.
When we offer advice, we are making our best predictions based on our experience with the law. We need to look at your rap sheet and immigration status. We need to see the facts of the case. We need to see how the DA is charging the case. We need to know things like if you've been on probation before and how successful you were. We need to know what court you're in and which DA you're up against. It may be tempting to ask around or look online to see what other people with similar charges have gotten, but it simply can't replace the value of having an attorney carefully look over your case.