For the average person, being arrested and charged with a criminal offense is a life-changing experience. If you went through this experience recently, and it was your first time, you are likely still feeling worried and confused. The one thing you (hopeful) know you need to do next is to hire an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney to represent you throughout the prosecution of your case. Since you have never been arrested bore though, you also are unsure about your relationship with your criminal defense attorney. For a number of reason, you might be tempted to hide things, or omit things, or even downright lie about things, to your attorney. So that you do not make that mistake, consider the following reasons why you should not keep things from your Nebraska criminal defense attorney.
Reasons Not to Keep Things from Your Criminal Defense Attorney
- Your attorney really is on your side. Let’s face it – people mistrust attorneys. If you go into your representation with this attitude, it could cause you to keep things from your attorney simply because you have a difficult time believing your attorney is really on your side. You need to get past this bias though because your attorney is one your side. Not only are you paying him/her to be on your side, but the rules of professional conduct require an attorney to do his/her best to represent a client, meaning your attorney must give your case 100 percent of his/her efforts. Finally, criminal defense attorney like to win – keep that in mind.
- Your attorney cannot prepare a defense without all the facts. Your attorney needs to know everything you know in order to decide what way to go with your defense. For example, if you really didn’t commit the crime your attorney might focus on the lack of evidence the State has discovered under the assumption that the State can’t produce evidence if you really are innocent. Conversely, if you did commit the crime your attorney might focus more on things he police did wrong during the investigation in an effort to get evidence thrown out because it was gathered illegally.
- Your attorney could get ambushed at trial. A defense attorney’s worst nightmare is to be ambushed at trial because a client either lied, or failed to tell the attorney something important. It that lie or omission comes out at trial it can, and often does, cause the defense to lose the case. At that point, there isn’t even an option to try and negotiate a favorable plea agreement.
- Your attorney is bound by attorney-client confidentiality. Keep in mind that, except n very narrow circumstances (ie: you tell your attorney you plan to kill the President today and then explain how you are going to do it in a very believable way) your attorney is prevented from repeating anything you tell him/her by attorney-client confidentiality. You could tell your attorney that you committed cold blooded murder and your attorney cannot tell anyone that you confessed.
- It could come back to haunt you down the road. Trial is not the only way a lie or omission could come back to haunt you. Imagine, for example, that you fail to tell your attorney about a conviction you have from ten years ago in another state because you think no one will find it. Based on the belief that you have no criminal history, your attorney negotiates a favorable plea agreement that calls for you to receive a ten year sentence BUT all ten years are suspended and you get to spend two years on probation instead. You are thrilled with the agreement – until the judge gets the results of a national criminal history check that shows the previous conviction. The previous conviction makes you non-suspendable. Instead of accepting the plea agreement your attorney negotiated, the judge now says he/she will only accept a plea agreement wherein you are to serve the maximum sentence – all because you lied to your attorney, and therefore to the court.
The lesson here is that lying to your criminal defense attorney, or omitting relevant facts and information, cannot help you.
If you are currently facing criminal charges in Nebraska, it is certainly in your best interest to consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney right away. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
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