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Indianapolis Criminal & OWI Lawyers > Blog > Criminal Defense > Debunking 5 Myths About Criminal Defense Attorneys

Debunking 5 Myths About Criminal Defense Attorneys


Criminal defense lawyers play a crucial role in the legal system. The primary responsibility of criminal defense attorneys is to protect the rights of criminal defendants and ensure that defendants receive a fair trial. Criminal defense attorneys provide legal advice to their clients, if necessary they will conduct their own investigation, they develop the defense strategy, negotiate and communicate with prosecutors, and represent their clients in court. While some people understand what criminal defense attorneys do, some do not understand this profession. There are several myths and misconceptions surrounding criminal defense attorneys. In this article, we debunk some of the most prevalent myths about criminal defense attorneys.

Myth #1: Criminal Defense Attorneys Only Represent Guilty Individuals

The truth is that everyone, regardless of whether they are guilty or innocent, has the right to legal representation. The defense attorney is there to ensure that the rule of law is, and has been, followed throughout the investigation and prosecution.  Criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that every criminal defendant facing charges has is treated fairly under the law.  They are dedicated to protecting every criminal defendant’s rights. This is true regardless of whether someone maintains they are innocent or may have committed the crime they are accused of.

It is crucial to add that representing people accused of crimes does not mean criminal defense attorneys condone crime. Criminal defense attorneys have an ethical duty to ensure they provide zealous legal representation to their clients regardless of whether a person is innocent or guilty.

Myth #2: You Do Not Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer if You Intend To Plead Guilty

This belief is false. You need a criminal defense lawyer regardless of how you intend to plead. If you plan to plead guilty, an attorney can help you understand the consequences of your guilty plea and negotiate the most favorable terms possible for your situation.

Myth #3: Criminal Defense Attorneys Always Encourage Defendants To Plead Not Guilty

Like a doctor, an attorney should be making a recommendation based on the review of the facts and evidence alleged in each individual case.  Criminal defense lawyers don’t always encourage defendants to plead not guilty. Depending on the factors surrounding the case, an attorney may recommend a guilty plea. For instance, an attorney may recommend a plea deal if the prosecutor’s case is strong and the chances of securing an acquittal are low.

Myth #4: Criminal Defense Attorneys Are Shady

Criminal defense lawyers are often portrayed as shady and morally corrupt in movies and TV shows. However, this is not how criminal defense attorneys are in real life. Like in all things, there must be some defense attorneys who are morally corrupt and greedy, but most are ethical. Good criminal defense attorneys will do everything they can to provide their clients with the best representation but will not engage in unethical practices to secure a win.

Myth #5: A Defendant Will Only See Their Attorney in the Courtroom

It is not true that criminal defense attorneys only see their clients in the courtroom, although TV shows and movies make it seem like most of a criminal defense lawyer’s job happens in the courtroom. Proper representation would require communication with your criminal defense attorney outside of court several times to discuss your case, the evidence that has been reviewed, and any offers that have been made.. Your defense attorney should be available to you to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Contact Us for Legal Help

If you need a criminal defense lawyer, contact an experienced Indianapolis criminal lawyer at Rigney Law LLC to schedule a consultation.

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