Let’s face it. In this country, a lawyer is not the most beloved professional. This is especially true if they specialize in criminal defense in Columbia SC. But the truth is that they are an essential part in sustaining the justice system on which our society is founded, and on which you rely.
So, what are the myths about this particular class of trial lawyers that make people distrust them?
When you think of a trial lawyer that defends someone who has been accused of a crime, perhaps you think of the following stereotypes: the high profile attorneys that have defended the numerous celebrities accused of drugs or misconduct; the nationally publicized cases in which the defendant was accused of sex crimes, murder, embezzlement, or fraud; or all those attorneys on television that try to keep the bad guys out of jail.
The reality is that every person in the United States who is accused of a crime has a right to legal counsel, regardless of their guilt. In addition, not every case is as dramatic as those played out in the media and on television. And though most people understand why an innocent person accused of a crime would need a legal advocate, they don’t understand why a guilty person would need one as well. They don’t understand how a lawyer with good moral character can represent a guilty party in a court of law and still keep a clear conscience.
Generally, most clients needing criminal defense in Columbia SC will fit into one of three categories: an innocent person wrongly accused, a guilty person who accepts responsibility for his actions, and a guilty person who claims he is innocent. Each type of client presents its own challenges for an ethical attorney.
The first type of client, or the one who has been wrongly accused, is generally simple to defend. Both the client and attorney rely on the fact that correctly investigating the alleged wrongdoing will yield proof of the client’s innocence in the matter. However, despite the fact that one is legally presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, not everyone involved in investigating a case shares that opinion. A good attorney will make sure that proper procedure is followed and that his or her client receives the benefit of the doubt to which he or she is legally entitled.
The second client, one who accepts responsibility for his illegal actions, presents a special set of challenges for an attorney. Although it is right for any person to be brought up on legal charges when they broke the law, a compassionate attorney understands that everyone makes mistakes from time to time. And, especially in the case of drug or alcohol related cases, sometimes the client is suffering from addiction and other mental distress which results in illegal activity. In these cases, it is important to have a lawyer that understands the personal challenges being faced by his or her client. The attorney is not trying to help the client escape justice, especially if others have been directly harmed by the client’s actions. However, the lawyer is trying to obtain a plea bargain or court ruling that will give the client the benefit of the doubt and help in rehabilitation efforts.
The third type of client, who refuses to admit any guilt despite their culpability, can present the highest moral difficulty for an ethical lawyer if the attorney actually believes in the client’s guilt. However, everyone has the right to plead innocent when accused, and it doesn’t change his or her right to legal counsel. There may be special circumstances surrounding the case, so each instance should be judged individually. Ultimately, lawyers trust in the legal system of this country to make sure the law is upheld. Whether or not someone is guilty of a crime, it doesn’t change the fact that protocol must be followed and the individual accused receives a fair trial in a court of law.
Overall, most attorneys specializing in criminal defense in Columbia SC are good and decent people. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need legal counsel, be sure to select an attorney who is experienced in the area you need him or her, and aggressive in assuring that everyone plays by the rules.