Hiring a good criminal defence solicitor is a good step towards winning a criminal case. However, it is only the first step in that process. Here are 4 things that could affect your defence case. We’ll point out when these things can undermine your solicitor’s ability to do his or her job or when it could cost you your freedom.
Lie to Your Solicitor
A solicitor is not necessarily there to prove one’s innocence but to raise enough reasonable doubt. If you lie to your solicitor in an effort to protect yourself, you deny them the correct information they need to build a solid case for arguing your defence.
If they build a defence theory or rely on a strategy based on the assumption that what you said was true, the prosecutor will be more likely to win because they can pick apart criminal law solicitors’ defence. Criminal law solicitors need to know the truth, no matter how bad it sounds.
Instead, maintain an open, honest and cordial relationship with your solicitor. Remember – your solicitor is on your side.
Withhold Information from Your Solicitor
The prosecution will be gathering evidence against you. They may collect technical information like images and video. They’re going to line up witnesses against you. They’re going to search for any admissions you may have made. Your solicitor cannot defend you against these points of attack if you don’t tell your solicitor everything. Your solicitor needs all the facts of the case, good or bad. Know that you have solicitor/client privilege that protects your communications with your solicitor, and they are obligated to keep things private.
Talking to Others About the Case
We’ve discussed the importance of telling the truth and not withholding facts from your solicitor. A common mistake is a defendant talking to others about the case. When you tell your best friend or parents about the case, this information is probably not privileged. In fact, if you start telling others what you told your defence solicitor, you may lose your solicitor/client privilege.
And if you value your freedom, you should not rant about the case on social media. It is a public platform, even if you think you’re privately sharing with your friends. It is a mistake to even go online and proclaim your evidence or criticize your accuser. That mistake is compounded when you get into online arguments that can lead to a public admission of details regarding the case. Talking about your solicitor’s strategy is a mistake, too, since the prosecutor could read the posts and now use a better strategy to prove your guilt.
Get into Trouble
You can’t do much about your existing criminal history. However, if you’re facing criminal charges, one of the worst things you can do is get into further trouble. The government can use that information to undermine your claims of innocence. Even if you’re likely to be found guilty, getting into trouble again prevents you from being able to enter a favourable plea agreement. The judge is more likely to give you a harsher sentence as well.
You’ve made the right choice by hiring a defence solicitor. However, you can make it impossible for the solicitor to do his or her job if you make any of the mistakes above.