Criminal defense attorneys play a very important role in society. However, thanks to pop culture and various other factors, some people have fallen prey to certain myths and misconceptions about criminal defense attorneys.
The following are among the more noteworthy. Myths about criminal defense lawyers that deserve to be cleared up include the following:
Myth: All Criminal Defense Attorneys Are Corrupt and Greedy
Truth: Criminal Defense Attorneys Provide a Very Important Service
The United States Constitution establishes the right for all citizens to have a fair and thorough defense when they stand accused of crimes. In many other countries across the globe, similar rights exist.
Without this right, it would be much easier for citizens to be prosecuted (and, technically, persecuted) not because they were necessarily true criminals, but because they belonged to certain groups that may have been unfairly ostracized by society.
Additionally, without this right, it would be easier for people who were innocent of crimes to be prosecuted simply because courts sometimes want to wrap up cases as quickly as possible.
Movies and TV shows often depict criminal defense attorneys as being money-hungry individuals, willing and eager to protect clients they know have committed horrible crimes if doing so will have a positive impact on their bank accounts. In reality, criminal defense attorneys ensure that defendants are not deprived of their Constitutional rights.
Myth: Criminal Defense Attorneys Will Lie to Win Cases
Truth: Criminal Defense Attorneys CANNOT Lie for Their Clients
This is a misconception that should be immediately rejected as nonsense once someone takes the time to think about it for longer than a few moments. However, it remains a bizarrely prevalent one.
Some people mistakenly believe that criminal defense attorneys will often lie to improve their chances of winning a case. That’s not how the system works. Criminal defense attorneys are strictly prohibited from lying when representing their clients.
For example, a client might tell a criminal defense lawyer they are guilty of a crime they have been accused of, but they might also tell their lawyer they should support their false alibi in court. An attorney can’t do this. If they were caught lying in such a capacity, odds are very good they would be disbarred fast.
Myth: Criminal Defense Lawyers Are All Rich
Truth: Most Criminal Defense Lawyers Live Fairly Modest Lives
This is another myth that ties in with the idea of criminal defense attorneys being greedy. Because most well-known criminal defense attorneys (both real ones and fictional ones) tend to be relatively well-off, many believe that most criminal defense attorneys, in general, are rich.
That’s actually not so. While there are certainly some criminal defense attorneys who make a lot of money, research indicates the average earnings for a criminal defense lawyer in the US are barely even close to six figures. The average criminal defense lawyer may not be poor, but they certainly aren’t living a glamorous lifestyle.
These myths essentially exist because some people immediately react to the concept of criminal defense with this thought: What kind of person wants to defend criminals? The truth is, in most cases, the kind of person who becomes a criminal defense lawyer is one who believes in true justice and the rights of all citizens.