10 Jun How Can a Defence Lawyer Defend a Guilty Person?
Defending a guilty client is often something a defence lawyer has to justify, as it is usually viewed negatively by society. It is a widely held view that criminal defence lawyers assist criminals to escape justice. However, the subject is more complex than it seems.
For a moment, imagine you have committed a breach of the law. You are aware that you have done something wrong, but the charges against you are more excessive than the infraction you are guilty of committing. A defence lawyer can ensure that you have not only access to representation but also a fair trial.
Factual guilt vs. legal guilt
There are two types of guilt—factual guilt and legal guilt. Factual guilt refers to what the accused did, while legal guilt refers to what the prosecution is able to prove. Regardless of whether a person is factually guilty, the prosecution must present evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant indeed committed the crime. Therefore, even if a defendant committed a crime, but there is not enough evidence to prove it, that person cannot be found guilty.
For that reason, most lawyers will not ask whether a client is guilty. A criminal defence lawyer’s job is to provide clients with effective representation, which is the constitutional right of every accused.
Criminal defence lawyers have a responsibility to their clients
The Canadian Constitution states that each citizen is entitled to due process and legal representation. Criminal defence lawyers are bound to deliver legal counsel to clients regardless of their guilt.
The right to effective counsel is covered under section 10b of the Canadian Constitution. It is viewed as one of the principles of fundamental justice under section 7 of the Charter. Failure to provide effective representation for an accused may affect the fairness of a criminal case.
It is not the job of the criminal defence lawyer to determine innocence or guilt. That job belongs to a judge or jury. The prosecution is charged with doing everything within the boundaries of the law to prove that the defendant is guilty, while the defence lawyer is responsible for mounting a vigorous defence.
Ensuring a fair society
Without the justice system, it would be up to law enforcement to determine guilt. However, the judicial process ensures the decision is left up to impartial parties (a judge or jury) to determine whether the defendant is guilty of committing the crime in question. This helps to ensure that justice and law prevail in society. Defence lawyers play a vital role in the justice system by ensuring the accused’s legal rights are protected throughout the process.
Protecting the innocent
Being charged with a crime does not automatically mean you are guilty. There are thousands of cases around the globe where innocent people have spent years incarcerated or have even been sentenced to death for crimes they didn’t commit.
Criminal defence lawyers prevent innocent individuals from being convicted for the crimes of others.
Calgary defence lawyer
Your defence lawyer can significantly impact the outcome of your case. If you are searching for a criminal defence lawyer who has years of experience and a proven track record of successfully defending clients, contact the law office of Jason Wuttunee.
Jason Wuttunee is a skilled Calgary defence lawyer committed to providing intelligent and strategic litigation solutions to clients. Jason Wuttanee specializes in all areas of criminal law, including homicides, white-collar crimes, drug offences, and domestic assault.
With over a decade of experience working as a prosecutor for the Crown prior to starting his defence practice, Mr. Wuttunee has unique insight into prosecuting major crimes enabling him to mount a successful defence on your behalf.