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Common Myths About New York Criminal Defense Lawyers Debunked (2024)

Common Myths About New York Criminal Defense Lawyers Debunked (2024)

If you were charged with a crime, the consequences of not having legal representation could be serious and life-altering. Criminal defense attorneys have experience in helping clients reduce the penalties they face. Some defendants may have reservations about hiring an attorney because of misunderstandings about what exactly defense attorneys do. Seeing common myths about New York criminal defense lawyers debunked can help you better realize the importance of having legal representation.

Common Myths about New York Criminal Defense Lawyers Debunked

Myth 1: Criminal Defense Lawyers Only Defend Guilty People

While some clients may ultimately be found guilty of their alleged crime, the job of a defense attorney is to represent anyone who is accused of committing a crime. Everyone in this country has the right to a fair trial and due process, according to the U.S. Constitution and supporting U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Many defendants are arrested and wrongly accused of committing a crime, whether due to misidentification or misunderstandings by law enforcement. Even when someone appears to have committed a criminal offense, there could be mitigating circumstances that could ultimately lead to the defendant being found not guilty.

Many crimes have an element of criminal intent. If someone accidentally commits a crime, such as taking someone else’s bike that looks like theirs, they may not meet all the elements needed to be found guilty. Criminal law is not always simple, and defendants have every right to make their case before the courts or a jury.

The job of a criminal defense attorney is to ensure that the accused receives a fair trial, their rights are protected, and the legal process is properly followed.

Myth 2: Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer Makes You Look Guilty

Hiring a lawyer is a fundamental right and a wise decision, regardless of guilt or innocence. It ensures that you have professional legal representation to navigate the complexities of the legal system and defend your rights effectively. In fact, the right to a criminal defense attorney is guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

Having an attorney will not make you look guilty in the eyes of prosecutors. Having legal representation can make negotiations with prosecutors easier. Speaking directly with prosecutors could lead to self-incrimination if you do not have a lawyer. A criminal defense attorney knows what to say and what not to say about their clients.

Myth 3: All Criminal Defense Lawyers Are the Same

As with other professions, the abilities of individual attorneys vary widely. Some lawyers focus on particular types of cases (such as white-collar crimes or drug offenses), while others may have little to no experience in a courtroom. The success rates of lawyers can also differ significantly.

Myth 4: Criminal Defense Lawyers Will Do Anything to Win

Ethical criminal defense lawyers adhere to strict professional standards and codes of conduct. While there are some unscrupulous attorneys out there (and Hollywood hasn’t helped repudiate those stereotypes), ethics codes forbid lawyers from lying, fabricating evidence, and engaging in illegal activities to win a case. Their job is to provide a vigorous defense within the bounds of the law.

Myth 5: Criminal Defense Lawyers Are Expensive and Only for the Wealthy

There are attorneys who charge exorbitant rates out there, but many are affordable and take steps to work with their clients’ budgets. If you have concerns about your ability to afford an attorney, don’t hesitate to bring those issues up with a potential lawyer. You are not the first person to speak to them about your financial concerns, and you will not be the last.

Don’t let these myths deter you from obtaining the legal representation you need and deserve. Defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of U.S. citizens and residents.

They have a vital role in our criminal justice system by balancing the rights of individuals with the powers of the government.


Q: What Is a Dilemma That Is Often Faced by Defense Attorneys?

A: A dilemma that is often faced by defense attorneys is when their clients are not forthcoming about what they know or what they did. Attorney-client privilege affords the opportunity to disclose any information, even when it involves illegal activity.

Even with these protections, clients may be embarrassed or afraid to disclose everything they know. This can greatly hinder the attorney’s ability to successfully represent their client.

Q: Do People Tell Defense Attorneys the Truth?

A: Clients are supposed to tell defense attorneys the truth, although they don’t always do so. Attorney-client privilege is nearly absolute. Nothing disclosed by a client to their attorney can ever be disclosed elsewhere. When a client does not tell their attorney the truth, that can impede the lawyer’s ability to properly defend their client.

Q: Why Might a Lawyer Not Represent a Criminal Defendant?

A: Attorneys are not required to represent a client. Both parties must freely choose an agreement of legal representation. One reason why an attorney may choose to not represent a client is if that client has a reputation of being hard to work with. Any client with a reputation for withholding information from their attorney or being generally disagreeable and combative may be too difficult to handle.

Some attorneys only work with clients if they believe that they have something to offer. A client who has few, if any, legal defenses may be a less-than-ideal client for some lawyers.

Q: Why Do Defense Attorneys Defend People If They Know That They Are Guilty?

A: Every defendant has constitutional rights in this country. The right to a fair trial and due process is not simply reserved for people who are innocent. Lawyers may have personal, moral, or ethical reasons why they represent clients who committed crimes.

Securing justice is one reason. Without the work of defense attorneys in New York, prosecutors may lose the burden of proof that is intended to favor defendants, who are innocent until proven guilty.

Schedule Your Defense Attorney Consultation Today

Don’t let misinformation about the important role of defense attorneys keep you from the legal representation you deserve. With the right attorney from the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, you can have a legal professional with years of experience helping clients who have found themselves in similar situations as yourself. In some cases, your lawyer could have your charges dropped or reduced. Contact the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, today.

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