Truth Between You and Your Lawyer

How Not Being Truthful with Your Lawyer Will Hurt Your Defense Strategy

It is important to never lie to your attorney….period.

I think I might have written a blog on this topic a few years ago, but it’s worth talking about again.  I had lunch earlier today with a friend who is also a criminal defense lawyer.  He was telling me about a case that he had where his client basically screwed himself because he never told his lawyer the truth.  It is a story that is all too familiar to me and to my colleagues, and it is something that really should never happen.

My friend told me how his client was accused of having drugs, and being involved in an organization that was making the drugs and getting them ready for the streets.  He spent months and months telling his lawyer one story, and swearing it was true.  Based on what the client was telling him, the lawyer did his investigation, planned his defense, had everything ready to go, only to be hit with a bombshell months later.  While his client was telling him that he was never in the house they were accusing him of being in, it turns out that there were hours and hours of video.

After being confronted with the video, the client finally admitted to the lawyer that he had not been telling him the truth.  This is horrible for a bunch of reasons, but number one, is that had the attorney had all of the truthful information from the beginning, the defense would have been much different.  But because he lied, certain things happened during the course of the case that made the outcome much worse for him.

Your Attorneys Role

You have to remember that your attorney is on your side.  I can’t speak for all other attorneys, but I never judge my clients.  I would like to say I have seen it all, but that’s not the case, because I see new things all the time.  But the point is, I don’t care if you did something bad or if you made a mistake.  My concern is you, my client, and what we can do to get this behind you with the best interests of your future in mind.

Whether you come to me with a tiny misdemeanor case, or a very serious felony, I am going to do everything in my power to help you.  But at a certain point you have to trust your lawyer and try to help yourself.  Sometimes when you lie, you just did a hole that’s deeper and deeper and it becomes almost impossible to climb out.  So bottom line, be truthful with your lawyer, it will help you in the long run.

Eric Benavides
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