Do I Need a Lawyer In Michigan Even If I’m Guilty?

pleading guilty

When facing criminal charges, many people wonder whether hiring a lawyer is worth the time and expense, especially if they plan on pleading guilty.

Some people think they should just enter a guilty plea, take their punishment, and move on with their life.

Others believe that hiring a lawyer will make them appear guilty or make the judge think they have something to hide.

Regardless of the plea you intend to enter, I always recommend hiring a reputable criminal defense attorney. An experienced attorney can provide you with legal advice, explain hidden consequences of pleading guilty, and possibly negotiate a plea to avoid a conviction, jail time, or a lengthy probation period.

Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

In some situations, a conviction may seem unavoidable. But even then, an attorney will help you understand the specifics of the charges you are facing, uncover ways to reduce the severity of the penalties, and explain whether pleading guilty is really in your best interests.

Without an attorney, you risk being bullied by a prosecutor who has no regard for your situation or well-being and will push for the harshest possible sentence.

But when you have an attorney on your side, you will better understand the charges against you, your possible defenses and the potential punishments. An attorney will perform independent research into the facts and the law, identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and exploit these weaknesses to negotiate a more favorable resolution.

Having an attorney on your side also provides emotional support during a challenging situation. Pleading guilty and facing court charges alone is scary, stressful, and intimidating. Let me shoulder some of your emotional burden.

Should I Tell My Lawyer If I’m Guilty?

Some people are concerned that if they tell their lawyer what really happened, or worse, tell him they think they’re guilty, their lawyer will abandon them, sabotage their case, or not work very hard to get an acquittal.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Criminal defense attorneys are deeply committed to due process and to ensuring that anyone charged with a crime can receive legal advice and defense. We work hard to achieve the best outcome given the circumstances.

A criminal defense attorney has an ethical duty to provide you with a vigorous defense, regardless of whether we think you’re guilty.

Remember—it’s not up to you or your lawyer to determine whether or not you’re guilty. Only the judge or the jury can make that decision.

Your job is to be honest and candid with your lawyer so he or she can prepare the best possible defense.

When you hire me as your lawyer, I want you to be honest. I want you to tell me everything you can about your situation.

When I know and understand your side of the story, I may be able to identify certain facts or circumstances that can be used to reduce the severity of your punishment, or even avoid a conviction.

I’m not concerned with whether or not you actually did what you are accused of doing. My job is to push the prosecutor to present sufficient evidence to secure a conviction.

It is far better that I know the good, the bad, and the ugly before we set foot in a courtroom. By knowing everything, I can better prepare a defense and avoid being presented with something unexpected.

I will not provide less aggressive representation just because you or I think you’re guilty. I will provide you with the best defense I can. Period. It is up to the judge or jury to decide whether you are guilty.

Attorney-Client Privilege

Anything that you say to your attorney is held in the strictest confidence. The attorney-client privilege is yours to assert. If you decide to disclose to someone else something you discussed with your lawyer, that is up to you. But, with a few exceptions, your lawyer cannot talk about anything you discussed with him. Conversations between an attorney and his client are legally privileged, and no one, not even the judge, can ask about those discussions.

A Lawyer’s Ethical Duties

The American justice system is an adversarial one. The prosecutor’s job is to do everything he can, within the limits of the law, to convict you. A criminal defense lawyer has an ethical obligation to do his best to prevent you from being convicted and to provide his client with the best possible legal representation.

An attorney cannot present an argument that he knows to be false. But even in cases where a client has admitted to the attorney what happened, or even believes he is guilty, a criminal defense lawyer still has an ethical obligation to identify areas where the prosecutor has failed to meet the burden of proof and to poke holes in the prosecutor’s theory of the case. A criminal defense lawyer can also identify areas in which the police violated the defendant’s rights, such as performing an illegal search or seizure, failing to advise a suspect of his Miranda rights, or failing to perform forensic tests according to the appropriate standards.

Contact Elmen Legal for Aggressive Legal Defense

If you are facing criminal charges, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately, even if you think you are guilty.

At Elmen Legal, I will thoroughly review your case, provide you with legal advice, and fight to have the charges reduced or the case dismissed.

During our first meeting, I will ask questions to learn more about the specifics of your situation. I will identify potential defenses we can raise to reduce the severity of the charges or the potential punishment. And I will conduct an independent investigation into the charges against you and be your advocate in court.

I will work hard to care for you as an individual and will do my best to shoulder some of the emotional burden of being charged with a crime.

Contact Elmen Legal today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how I can help. I proudly represent people in Ann Arbor, Saline, Pittsfield Township, Chelsea, or Ypsilanti, in Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, Lenawee, Hillsdale, Jackson, Ingham, Livingston, and Oakland Counties.

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Admitted to practice law in 2014, Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney Robert Elmen defends people accused of crimes such as assault and battery, domestic violence, sex crimes, drug crimes, and drunk driving / OWI / DUI. His caring approach towards his clients sets him apart from other lawyers as he recognizes that people come to him during their darkest hours, looking for help, and for hope. Robert is a student of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and draws on his martial arts training to help himself and his clients remain calm in the face of what may seem like insurmountable odds.

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