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You Cant Handle the Truth: Why Some Lawyers Do Not Want to Know if You “Did It”

Posted by Andrew Segal | Jul 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

Some lawyers intentionally will not ask their clients whether or not they committed the crime. To most non-lawyers, this seems strange.

Even lawyers have different opinions on whether or not to ask a client whether or not they committed the crime.

Should I tell my lawyer I committed a crime in Alabama?

I like to know the truth, but there are valid reasons lawyers don't ask their clients if they committed the crime. This is because, the primary issue in any criminal case is not whether the client did it; it's can the state prove, beyond reasonable doubt, the lawyer's client did it. (Learn more about the Alabama Criminal Process here.)

No matter the criminal offense, whether it is domestic violence, drug crimes, or DUI, the prosecution must prove the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.Additionally, the state always has the burden of proof meaning there is no requirement an accused say or do anything during their trial. Of course in some trials, the accused may wish to take the witness stand and deny having committed the crime.

And here's the issue-if a lawyer has been told by the client they committed the crime, the lawyer can't ethically put his client on the witness stand and permit him to lie. It is for this reason; some attorneys do not ask their client whether or not they committed the crime.

Benefits of Disclosing All of the Information to Your Attorney in Huntsville, Alabama

There's nothing wrong with this logic but, the purpose of a trial is to reach a “verdict”. Verdict is a Latin word meaning “to speak the truth”. Because a trial is about determining the truth, and because-at least in my view-I want to know everything about a case before trying it, I usually want to know the full truth from my client so as to avoid any potential surprises a trial.

I've been told many times by potential clients that they are, in fact, guilty. I explain, I cannot let them testify if they wish to use me as their attorney. Those who wish to testify to a lie may choose not to hire me.

At least, in my own opinion, I'd rather know the total truth of what happened then leave open the option for a client to potentially perjure themselves. In my time as a prosecutor, does nothing I liked more than cross-examining a liar. When someone is exposed as a liar, there is very little their lawyer can do to rehabilitate them and that juries tend to be unforgiving to those who swear to tell the truth and do the opposite.

Experienced Huntsville Criminal Defense Lawyers

Andrew Segal and Sandra Segal of The Law Offices of Segal & Segal, LLC are experienced and honest criminal defense attorneys. They have years of experience defending clients in the most complex criminal cases, including drug crimes, DUI/drunk driving, weapons and firearm charges, and white collar crimes.

From the initial consultation, the attorneys of The Law Offices of Segal & Segal, LLC will begin building the strongest defense on your behalf. If you are charged with any criminal offense in Huntsville, Alabama or surrounding areas contact The Law Offices of Segal & Segal, LLC at (256) 533-4529 for a free, confidential review of your case.

About the Author

Andrew Segal

Andrew Segal is a former judge and prosecutor who now represents the accused as a criminal defense attorney in Huntsville, Alabama, area courts. Andrew graduated cum laude from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1982. and Washington College of Law at American University in 1988.


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