When a person is accused of a crime, it is the job of a criminal defense lawyer to provide the best defense for their client. Even if a person is guilty of a crime, a criminal defense lawyer is still obligated to represent the client and do what they can to ensure a fair trial. In a criminal case, the defense attorney’s job is to raise reasonable doubt within the court that the accused is guilty of the crime.
Understanding “Legal Guilt” and “Factual Guilt”
When it comes to the criminal justice system, there are two types of guilt: legal guilt and factual guilt. Understanding the difference between the two is crucial, as it can significantly impact the outcome of a criminal case.
Legal guilt refers to whether a person is found guilty in a court of law. The prosecutor must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to be found guilty. This means that the evidence must be so strong that the jury is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. If the jury finds the evidence insufficient to make this determination, the defendant is not guilty.
Factual guilt, on the other hand, refers to whether or not the defendant committed the crime. A defendant can be found not guilty in a court of law yet still be considered factually guilty. This means that the jury believed that the defendant may have committed the crime but that the prosecutor did not present enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
What Happens at a Trial
At trial, both the prosecution and defense present their respective cases. The prosecution must prove the defendant’s legal guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, while the defense may present evidence that either contradicts or casts doubt on the prosecution’s case. The jury then deliberates and decides the defendant’s legal guilt. If the jury finds the defendant not guilty, the defendant is said to be acquitted.
The jury’s decision of legal guilt has no bearing on the defendant’s factual guilt. Even if the jury finds the defendant not guilty, the defendant could still be factually guilty. The only way to determine factual guilt is through independent investigation and analysis.
What Happens If the Defendant Admits the Crime to Their Lawyer?
When a defendant admits to a crime to their lawyer, it can profoundly affect the case. This is because the lawyer may use the confession to plea bargain or argue for a lesser sentence. In some cases, the admission may even lead to a dismissal of the charge.
When a defendant admits to a crime, it is important to understand the implications of this admission. Depending on the circumstances, the admission could be considered an admission against interest, which means that the defendant has essentially waived their right to remain silent and has instead voluntarily admitted guilt. This could be used against them in court, so it is important to know the potential consequences.
The lawyer’s role in this situation is to explain the admission’s legal implications and advise the client of their rights. The lawyer should ensure that the defendant understands the confession’s potential consequences and that the confession is voluntary. In addition, the lawyer should explain any potential plea bargains or alternate sentences that may be available due to the admission.
A criminal defense lawyer can defend someone guilty by finding flaws in the prosecution’s case, attacking the credibility of witnesses, and raising reasonable doubt. However, it is ultimately up to the jury or judge to decide whether or not the defendant is guilty.
Are you seeking the best criminal lawyer in Georgia? You can hire us at Hanks, Ballard & Barth. We make sure our clients get the justice they deserve. Contact us today at Hanks, Ballard & Barth to learn more about what we can do for you.