How Can A Criminal Defence Lawyer Represent Someone Who Is Guilty?

A common question people tend to ask about criminal lawyers is if they can still ethically defend someone even if they are guilty.

Some people seem to believe that a criminal justice lawyer will employ technical arguments or legal sleights of hand to clear clients who are clearly guilty of crimes. Furthermore, the general consensus is that most suspects are accused of major crimes like murder or sexual offences, which require more expertise.

However, there are strong standards in place that govern how legal professionals or criminal defence lawyers in Sydney  behave when presented with a situation like this.

Can a Criminal Lawyer Represent a Client They Know to Be Guilty?

As long as they don’t intentionally lie or deceive the court, criminal lawyers are permitted to represent someone who is guilty.

Even if you admit to committing a crime to your lawyer, they can still represent you. However, if you choose to enter a “not guilty” plea, your lawyer cannot explicitly argue that you did not commit the crime. Instead, they can only assert that the prosecution hasn’t proven all of the offence’s elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

How Can a Criminal Defence lawyer Defend Someone They Believe to Be Guilty?

A criminal lawyer can defend someone they believe is guilty since there is a distinction between “legal guilt” and “factual guilt.” A criminal defence lawyer’s role does not include determining whether or not their client is guilty. No matter what crime or evidence is used against their client, a lawyer must provide a strong defence.

An individual is considered innocent until their guilt is established “beyond a reasonable doubt” in the criminal justice system. This is a very high bar that is meant to make conviction tough. Accordingly, a criminal trial involves whether the prosecution has proven its case rather than whether the defendant actually committed the crime at issue.

Plea of guilty

If a defendant chooses to enter a guilty plea, your criminal lawyer can take the following steps to get the best possible result:

  • talking with the authorities to have the charges reduced. This may need the “rolling up” of various sequences.
  • Negotiating less serious charges with the prosecution. For instance, a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm may occasionally be dropped in favour of a charge of common assault. Similarly, a drug supply offence might be reduced to drug possession.
  • modifying the fact sheet to reduce the offence’s details.

A lawyer can also help you gather character references, an apology letter, and any necessary medical or psychological reports in order to strengthen your subjective case.

Not Guilty Plea

It is typically in your best interests to retain new lawyers if you have informed your lawyer that you are guilty of the offence but still want to enter a not-guilty plea.

This is due to the fact that in order for them to continue acting as your lawyer, they are limited to arguing that the prosecution has not proven the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

This implies that your criminal defence lawyer cannot affirmatively inform the court that you are innocent, whether your plea guilty or not.

Your lawyer cannot make representations that they know to be untrue, nor may they let information they know to be false be produced in evidence, according to the ethical and professional standards that govern the conduct of lawyers.

If this situation arises, a skilled criminal lawyer will typically withdraw from the case. Given the severe punishments for criminal offences, it is advisable to have a criminal lawyer present to present the defence on your behalf.

If you’ve been searching for the best criminal lawyers in Albury Wodonga, Wagga Wagga and Howlong can be challenging. Then KPW Lawyers team provide legal advice for anyone in need of representation. If you want to know more or get a clearer picture of your rights and sanctions, please submit your case resolved then contact our friendly criminal lawyer team at KPW Lawyers on 1300 074 182 or email