Most people don't actually know that much about the criminal justice system until they're involved in it. They know what they see on television and in the movies—which is largely inaccurate. Maybe they've watched a few true crime dramas that have given them some idea about how evidence can be collected and used in a case. Other than that, however, most people are unaware of all but the basics.
Well, the criminal justice system isn't supposed to be a mystery in this country—although there are a lot of "secrets" about the system that you should know if you ever find yourself under arrest. Here are some of the most important:
1. Your defense attorney doesn't care if you're guilty—only what the prosecution can prove.
Your defense attorney isn't there to judge you. That's someone else's job. Most defense attorneys seek to bond with their clients as much as possible and try to develop some sympathy for their client's actions. Your attorney may want to hear all the details of the crime from you or may not—so don't volunteer all the information until your attorney asks. Far more important in your defense attorney's mind is the question, "What evidence does the prosecution have?" That may be more important than your guilt or innocence.
2. You aren't entitled to an attorney until you're being officially interrogated—but the police can still talk to you.
This fact trips up a lot of criminal defendants because many of them don't realize that they're being subtly interrogated by the police until the handcuffs come out and they hear their Miranda Rights being read. By then, it's too late. The police can talk to you without an attorney present and without warning you of your rights as long as you aren't officially under interrogation. If you're brought to the police station for a "little chat" and are still free to leave, you aren't entitled to a warning. Just the same, everything you say is being carefully recorded and can be used against you later.
3. Your attorney wants to see you get the best possible outcome for your case—whatever that may be.
It isn't just your future on the line—your attorney has a reputation to defend. He or she wants you to have a successful outcome in your case. What exactly that will look like will depend a lot on the individual circumstances you're in. If you're facing insurmountable evidence, a plea deal that reduces the charges and gets you out of prison time might be considered a "win."
Listen to your criminal defense attorney's advice carefully from the moment you find yourself facing charges and you won't have cause to regret any of your actions later. That's the real secret to a good defense. For more information, contact local criminal defense attorney services.