When accused of a crime, your concern should rest in getting the best outcome possible. Hiring an attorney to do the legwork for you is a benefit since he or she knows the legal system.
Before walking into a consultation, you wonder if it is in your best interest to tell your criminal attorney everything. You understand privilege, but will what you say impact the way the lawyer views you and defends you? Here is why it is critical you tell your counsel what you know.
Your attorney cannot defend what is not known
No one likes to get blindsided, and your attorney definitely fits this bill. When sitting down to speak with the prosecution on your behalf, lobbying efforts may stall over facts of the crime your attorney does not know about. If you do not share every detail, the attorney cannot defend you against those elements when they come to light. While a good lawyer is quick on his or her feet, sometimes the revelation is too much to process in the moment.
Your attorney cannot come up with alternative theories of the events
Police put together evidence and present it to the prosecution. The prosecutor takes this evidence and comes up with a story to tell the court that proves your guilt. Withholding any bit of information from your attorney gives the prosecution an unfair advantage: Your side cannot necessarily rebuff the story. Defense lawyers use alternative theories of the crime to help provide reasonable doubt and help set you free.
Your attorney cannot throw the case
If you decide to tell your lawyer every explicit detail of this act and others you committed, he or she is bound by attorney-client privilege and cannot give you up. Under this is also an umbrella of protection that shields you from a bad defense. If you believe your attorney is not putting up the best effort due to information you shared, you can have him or her removed.
A criminal defense attorney needs to know what you did so no details fall by the wayside. Sharing your story can only help bolster your defense.