Oblogations of criminal defense attorney

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Latest post 05-01-2007 10:45 AM by ca19lawyer2. 2 replies.
  • 04-30-2007 7:30 PM

    Question [=?] Oblogations of criminal defense attorney

    What are the obligations of a criminal defense attorney when the defendent wishes to testify and the defense attorney believes them to be guilty of the offense?
  • 04-30-2007 9:49 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Oblogations of criminal defense attorney

    First off, the defendant has an absolute right to testify BUT should listen to his attorney. There are tactical reasons why it's sometimes a really, really bad idea for the defendant to take the stand. Additionally, if the attorney knows the client plans to lie on the stand, he is obligated to tell him not to, obviously. If the client insists, since the attorney cannot knowingly suborn perjury, the attorney will ask the court to allow the defendant to testify in the narrative. He cannot keep him off the stand BUT both the court and the prosecution will know from the outset that the defendant is probably lying since that is the only time a defense attorney would have any reason to make such a request.
  • 05-01-2007 10:45 AM In reply to

    re: Obligations of criminal defense attorney

    Your question really doesn't make any sense and is also incredibly broad.

    First, it's not for the defense attorney to decide if his/her client is guilty or not guilty.

    Second, "guilt" is a conclusion that can be reached only by a jury. I assume that you're equating "guilt" with actually having committed the ACT that is the basis for the criminal charge.

    Third, all that said, the defense lawyer's "obligations" are the same no matter what the lawyer feels about his/her client's culpability. One of the basic premises of our criminal judicial system is that even the most obviously culpable person is entitled to a zealous defense.
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