How can a lawyer act for the guilty?
Our ethical rules are clear. If a person says that they are guilty, a lawyer is not allowed to put before the court anything inconsistent with the truth. Under our system however, a person is entitled to require the prosecution to prove its case. It is therefore lawful to enter a plea of not guilty and to make the prosecution prove the Defendant's guilt.
What if the lawyer is fairly sure that the person is guilty but the person refuses to admit guilt?
In this case, it is quite possible that the Defendant is innocent even though the evidence appears to be against the Defendant. The famous Azaria Chamberlain case is an example of this. A person is entitled to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. It is the lawyer's job to put the accused person's case to the court as strongly and as clearly as possible without in any way misleading the court. It is not the lawyer's job to find guilt. That is the responsibility of the jury (or Judge or Magistrate as the case may be). If the lawyer believes that the client is not telling the truth, then the lawyer is under a duty to tell the client that there is a real risk that the client will not be believed at trial and that as a consequence the sentence may be more severe than if the person pleads guilty. It is usually in the best interests of a person to plead guilty if they are guilty.
How much will it cost?
To contact us costs nothing. This firm has a policy of endeavouring to provide an accurate estimate of costs before work is undertaken. The more details you can give us at the beginning by E-mail, fax or in writing, usually assists in providing you with an accurate estimate.
Our fees are usually calculated on the basis of the amount of time spent but, in some situations, a fixed fee can be arranged, a regular retainer fee or fees can be charged by reference to a scale accepted by the courts or a professional organisation. These are a matter for us to negotiate with you and we endeavour to provide all our clients with a service which suits their needs.