There are four things that a defendant should realize about their defense attorney, and act accordingly, to get the best defense possible.
1. Being a contrarian makes your lawyer's job harder, if not impossible.
Your own attitude can sabotage a lawyer's best defense strategies before trial, in court, and if you are convicted, then during the sentencing phase. You should avoid being overly critical and dismissive, rude, argumentative, or otherwise display a bad attitude in court and in talking to your attorney, and to anyone else involved in your case.
Be careful about your posture, facial expressions, and gestures in court. Go on and wear the nice conservative clothes the attorney recommended or purchased for you, and wear them properly. All of these things can and will affect the judge and jury's assessment of you.
The roots of any resistance you may have could be that you:
- have some confusion in your mind and heart about what you want,
- secretly feel undeserving of a good defense
- you are harboring prejudicial attitudes toward your attorney because of their manner, appearance, gender, race, or background.
You could simply be feeling resentment for being in this predicament and feel like taking it out on the closest target, your attorney. This resentment and the other negative feelings won't serve you; you will have to let them go.
2. Being dishonest with your attorney will hurt your case.
Don't intentionally mislead your lawyer; they need to be properly prepared for what the prosecution could bring up at trial. An attorney will take the information you give them and develop their strategy with it.
It could be that your lawyer doesn't want to know as much as you want to disclose to them, because they don't want to be hemmed in. They will not be able to legally or ethically present evidence that is untrue, and they won't want you to perjure yourself in court.
On the other hand, when an attorney hears the complete story from you, they might see mitigating factors or other elements they could work with and build on such as:
- The police officers' methods were improper or ineffective -- for example,they were using alcohol based sanitizer on their hands and the breathalyzer gave a false reading.
- You were acting in self defense, the person you are accused of assaulting attacked you first and you were afraid for your safety or someone else's.
- You were entrapped -- you didn't want to procure or sell drugs to an undercover police officer but they were using unfair coercive methods to get you to do it.
- Your rights were violated -- the police didn't have probable cause to search your vehicle or your house.
- You had the greater good of someone in mind -- such as driving a seriously injured person to the hospital while being slightly impaired.
3. Not listening can cause you problems.
You might do a some research in a law library, or listen to somebody you know who has some legal training and come to think that your lawyer's proposed strategy is wrong. The thing is, your lawyer knows the people in the prosecutor's office, knows the judges and what they are likely to do or be impressed with, and has the court experience.They have a pretty good idea of what your chances are after reviewing all the evidence.
If the evidence is overwhelmingly against you, and your attorney has worked hard to get you a pretty sweet plea deal under the circumstances, you would be wise to seriously consider it. Even though they are willing to fight hard for you, they are bound by the law and have to be realistic.
4. Being earnest and honest will motivate an attorney to work harder for you.
Usually attorneys have pretty tough skin and want to do right by their clients even when it is tough to do so. However, they are human and can't help but feel dismayed at people who like to shoot themselves in the foot, so to speak. So, to get the best defense possible, work with a reputable attorney like Patricia K Wood Atty, tell the truth, and listen to their advice.