What kind of Criminal Defence Lawyer do you want?
As the saying goes, do you want the good news first, or the bad news? In the case of hiring a lawyer, I have discovered that some people do not want to hear the bad news first, or second, or ever! They only want the good news.
Many situations come up where I can tell my clients that they have a great defence to their charges. This could mean they have a good legal defence, or that they have an argument that their rights were violated, or they could be found not guilty for other reasons.
Not everyone has a great defence to their charges however. This is when you need a lawyer who can plea bargain on your behalf to put you into the best legal position. This could mean avoiding a criminal record, avoiding jail time, or reducing the sentence down to the best position possible under the circumstances.
I recently represented a young man charged with a serious armed robbery. If convicted, he was looking at between four and six years in prison. He had given a confession to the police, and his situation did not look good. I informed him of the sentence he was likely facing, but explained that I needed to review his case thoroughly to make sure of his options. There was a possibility that his rights had been violated prior to his confession. A few days later, I spoke with him again. He had concluded from talking to another fellow in jail that his rights had been violated and his statement would be thrown out. I had reviewed his file by this time and told him his jailhouse lawyer was wrong, and the violation of his rights would not apply in his case. The client then told me that he felt like I was not really trying to help him. He decided to change to a different lawyer. Did I do the wrong thing in being honest with this client? Should I have just agreed with him to make him feel better?
It is my job as your lawyer to keep you informed of the possible (and most likely) outcomes of your situation. I need to tell you these things so that you can make an informed decision on what to do. It would be completely unethical for me to hide the truth from you, just to make you feel better. My job is not to be your friend or your cheerleader, it is to be your counsel, and direct you to the best decision for your future. I am concerned about your long term future, not just what is best for now.