NO, I DO NOT ADMIT ANYTHING: I ALWAYS SAY NO
To admit or not to admit – a defense criminal lawyer deliberates and strategizes. The idea is to save his client. Let’s take an example from a courtroom setting. A female accuses her co-worker of rape. The accused claims there existed a consensual relationship for a long period of time and that they both lived and holidayed together. What does a defense lawyer do in such a case? What should be his strategy?
It’s easier said than done that the essential trait of a good criminal defense lawyer is to dent the prosecution’s story. But this strategy pays the best dividend. If done successfully, the prosecutor won’t be able to prove the guilt of the accused “beyond reasonable doubt”. But how does one do it? The first strategy for a great defense lawyer is to not allow his client to admit his guilt. It means contesting every bit of the story of the prosecution. In criminal law, even the smallest accusation should be denied and contested as this shifts the burden of proof on the prosecution. The acceptance of any fact reduces the work of the prosecution as they no longer need to prove it in evidence.
At the same time, the defense lawyer should take his client in confidence so that the accused does not hide anything from him. Rather, the accused must give his defense lawyer the complete picture of all facts and circumstances. This would help the criminal defense lawyer to find inconsistencies in the story of the prosecution. Every important contradiction in the narrative of the prosecution is like a whole in the sailing boat. It creates suspicion in the mind of the judge. For example, if the victim girl continued to transfer money to the account of the accused, even after the date of the alleged rape. Why would she do it if she was the real victim? This fact may establish cordial relations post the alleged incident. Similarly, for example, if the prosecution failed to examine the person who took her for her medico legal case (MLC). Another dent that the criminal defense lawyer could put in the prosecution story (at appeal stage) might be to say that the said person (who took her for the MLC) was involved with her. And therefore, the prosecution knowingly and purposely didn’t examine the said person to falsely frame the accused.
Thus, while on one hand, an intelligent criminal defense lawyer doesn’t admit anything, on the other, he uses every opportunity to find loopholes in the prosecution’s story and create suspicion in the mind of the judge. After all, it’s the duty of the prosecution to convince the judge that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.