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What would be the ethical things for a defense lawyer to do in the following situation?

What would be the ethical things for a defense lawyer to do in the following situation?
A defense lawyer is defending someone accused of a violent crime such as rape, murder, or assault, and the lawyer knows the client is guilty because the client confessed to him or he has access to evidence that clearly shows the client is guitly.

Is it unethical for the lawyer to try to get the client declared “not guilty” so he can walk free unpunished, or is the attorney’s ONLY obligation to his client?

Or does the attorney have a moral and ethical obligation to society to insure the guilty party is punished?

What is the bigger purpose: defending the client or defending society?

By karl_popper_fan -05-19 14:52:01


goz1111: It’s defending the client foremost, now that does not equate to committing a crime, but the integrity of the attorney client privilege is essential to the legal system

fangtaiyang: Ethically, a defense attorney is obligated to give his or her client the best defense. The best thing for this hypothetical attorney to do is to step out of the case entirely.

Tony C: Right………

Kevin M: Everyone is entitled to the best defense that can be made. There are unethical things however a defense attorney can do in his clients defense. One is asking the client a question on the stand that leads to a lie. That’s why when an attorney puts his guilty client on the stand, he won’t ask him if he’s guilty, he’ll say “Do you have anything you’d like to say?” or something more general. Some won’t put a guilty client on the stand at all.

northernhick: Look at it this way: If the prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence to convict a person, and that person has exercised his right to remain silent when speaking to the police, should the authorities be able to lay a charge with the expectation that the accused will talk to his lawyer, and expect that they’ll be able to rely on those statements to the lawyer in court?

It completely undermines the right to remain silent and the right to counsel, if your statements to your lawyer are fair game for making out a case against you.

That said, such knowledge isn’t without a consequence. If an accused confesses to his lawyer, that lawyer’s duty to the court prevents him from being able to adduce evidence of things he knows not to be true. Thus, alibi evidence is off the table, evidence that somebody else is the guilty party is off the table…basically, any evidence that the accused is innocent cannot be adduced, because the defence lawyer would be knowingly misleading the court, and thus violating his duty.

Still, the lawyer still has a duty to challenge the prosecution’s case against the accused. If the prosecution doesn’t have the witnesses and/or physical evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the court cannot convict, and it’s the defence lawyer’s duty to see that the court realizes that it cannot convict.

It it’s not an admission, but physical evidence in the lawyer’s possession, then other obligations kick in. A lawyer can’t conceal evidence. (There are some grey areas if he intends to bring it up in court himself, but he can’t just take the murder weapon and hide it away.) In Canada, at least, there’s a practice trick called the ‘brown bagging’. If a defendant brings you the murder weapon and tells you to deal with it (and refuses to take it away himself)…defence counsel can’t just bring it to the police himself; it would be easy enough for the police to zero in on the suspect just by watching who he represents in court. Instead, defence counsel should put the object into a paper bag, retain another lawyer (thus invoking privilege with the other lawyer), and have the other lawyer bring the object to the police, telling them only that it might be relevant to some investigation.

Barry C: Actually none of the above.

The defense attorney’s obligations are to see that the defendant has the fairest trial possible in the interest of justice, regardless of what he does or does not know about the case.

I am certain this is pretty much drilled into every attorney the instant they set foot on a law school campus – it certainly was when I had a room mate who became an attorney way back when.

And when I attended a swearing in ceremony last year for the California Bar, the Judges who made speeched at the event openly referred to this.

Morgan R: We have an adversarial system of justice. An attorney’s duty is to his client, not society. Most defense attorneys avoid asking their client if “he did it”, because it can compromise the defense. (that could be a rule violation (3.3) and the ABA defense Function Standards 4-3.2 in that they may not be able to present a competetent defense without knowing details) A defense attorney is not obligated to assist in the prosecution of his client, nor is he allowed to withhold MATERIAL evidence. However, prosecutors have been known to without exculpatory evidence, because they can claim THEY didn’t believe it to be exculpatory (the stuff appeals are made of!) Model Rule 3.3 A lawyer shall not KNOWINGLY …fail to disclose a material fact to a tribunal when disclosure is neccessary to avoid assisting a crminal or fraudulent act by the client… offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false…” ” It is a mistake if we divert the attention of the lawyer’s zeal on behalf of the client to a general concern for public interest or the social good… rules of ethics cannot be used as a tool of social engineering, that is for polictical theorists and divinty students”

What is the federal statute that limits inmates to one federal appeal?

What is the federal statute that limits inmates to one federal appeal?

The article on this website says inmates are typically restricted to one federal appeal of the same set of facts. If the facts have no significantly changed, they cannot appeal more than once. I am looking for the specific federal statute that regulates this.
I have looked in the titles recommended of federal appellate procedure, but can’t find a subsectin or specific reference to limiting one appeal

By Laura -12-01 08:08:26


Jay: I think the white houses cabinet members definitely

Jeff: Look up Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, and then browse Titles II, V, and VI in particular.

Amanda: It could be case law.

Are the things a defendent says on sentencing day used in an appeal?

Are the things a defendent says on sentencing day used in an appeal?
Lets say, someone just got senteced to life in prison and they were wronfully convicted. What if they start saying stuff like “My public defender didnt do his job!! He didnt bring out all the evidence? Im not light skinned or 160 pounds!!” etc etc all sorts of outbursts.

Would this stuff that was said on sentencing day be used in a criminal appeal?

Do you think it would have ANY impact on it?

By hello -09-12 04:49:58


Golden: appeals cases are more serious than regular court cases. why? an appeals judge, and the lawyers arguing the case have to be scholars. they have to know the law. their case has to be very strictly planned out. points of law, and order have to be addressed. and the whole case revolves around issues in the first trial. “was it okay to ask this?’ ‘was the witness bound by …(whatever),’ or ‘should the jury have been allowed to hear…’

the outbursts might be mentioned, but that’s not what an appeals trial is all about.

EL Pearl: well as they were told when they were arrested everything they says can be held against them though if they get a good lawyer that proves to a jury that they didn’t go get a tan or lose or gain 50 pounds. After all that is why they have the state and federal court of appeals. Though you are guilty until proven innocent you can go all the way to the supreme court with your appeals

Arrested for Second Possession of Marijuana

Arrested for Second Possession of Marijuana Our Google+ Profile: Lindsey Gergely discusses that consequences of being caugh…

Floridas New Regulations for Drunk Driving Administrative Suspensions and Reviews

Starting July 1, 2013, the regulations for the administrative suspension regarding a drivers certificate following DUI arrest, and also the best to examine that administrative suspension changes.

Changes to Floridas Driving Under the Influence Administrative Hearings

For people who haven’t previously been accused of Driving Under the Influence or a related criminal offenses, the person can have three alternatives :

1. request a review of eligibility for a Business Goal Only restricted driving privilege which waives the best to a formal or informal review hearing

2.. request a formal review hearing; or

3. request a review hearing;

We’re now advised by the Department of Motor Vehicles that it’s not the day that the person requests the hearing that’s on most concern, however the time of the Driving Under the Influence offense.

Moreover it’s our knowing that in case the Department of Motor Vehicles determines the person wouldn’t meet the requirements, then your Department of Motor Vehicles will still permit the individual to request the formal review hearing provided that the request is presented within10 days of the demand. When you first consider it, this appears like a huge change for the better on the existing guidelines. It might put a number of hearing officers out-of a job [ and save the tax-payers plenty of money to the officer’s overtime pay].

But this is really the predicament. That decision needs to be produced within the first 10 days just after the Driving Under the Influence arrest when your notice of suspension is issued. Which suggests that attorney doesn’t have idea what files might be recorded in to the document in case that a proper review is required. Simply put, the lawyer must make recommendations to the individual about waiving this essential before the lawyer is confident of anything regarding the conditions. When you apply for the formal review hearing, then you won’t manage to later change the mind and ask for the review of eligibility

Moreover, the person is now being coerced into waiving a crucial right with permanent consequences. This really is particularly so considering that another refusal could be charged as a different charge. ..

Individuals who’ve a prior Driving Under the Influence conviction or administrative suspension will still need certainly to request and litigate all issues at a formal review hearing while there is no disadvantage to the request (at least in terms of i can contrive at present). It’d be better if for instance the attorney can call for the formal review hearing, take a glance at supply, guide the person about the possibility of accomplishment with the formal review hearing, and afterwards commit to quit the formal review hearing by seeking review of membership for that restricted driving privilege. Nonetheless it does not appear as if that’s permissible

Florida Statute Section 3222615

Effective July 1, 2013, Florida Statute Section 3222615.. Suspension of certificate ; directly to review provides : [t]he driver may request a formal or informal review of the suspension by the department within 10 days after the date of issuance of the notice of suspension or may request a review of eligibility for a restricted driving privilege under s. 322271(7)

Florida Statute Section 322271(7)

Who available is permitted a restricted driving privilege under Florida Statute Section 322271(7)

Effective July 1, 2013, Florida Statute Section 322271(7) provides: Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 3222615 [an administrative suspension], has never been disqualified under section s. 32264 [ linked to operating a commercial-vehicle while beneath the influence], has never been found guilty of the breach of s. 316193 [DUI], and whose driving privilege reaches the moment stopped under section s. 3222615 is qualified to utilize for a restricted driving privilege pursuant to the hearing under section (2)

(a) For purposes of this subsection, a previous conviction beyond this state for driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, driving by having an unlawful blood-alcohol level, or every other alcohol-related or drug-related traffic offense like the offense of driving under the influence as provided in s. 316193 Approval of the reinstated driving privilege as provided in this subsection is viewed as a waiver of the best to formal and informal review under s. 3222615.. The waiver might not be used as evidence in any other proceeding

(b) The reinstatement will be restricted to business purposes only, as defined in this section, for the duration of the suspension imposed under s. 3222615( h ) will soon be considered a previous conviction for a violation of s. 316193, and a conviction for breach of former s. 316028, former s. 3161931, or former s. 86001 is recognized as a conviction for a violation of s. 316193..

How do I get an arrest record sealed?

How do I get an arrest record sealed?
I have been arrested several times as an adult but have no convictions. To the best of my knowledge no one has ever pressed charges against me. Is there a way I can get my arrest record sealed or expunged?

By Desmond M -07-28 17:14:39


cyanne2ak: You can petition the court. Go get an attorney.

divot II: Expungement is statutory, which means either you or an attorney helping you must read your state code and do what it says, and the exact procedure varies from state to state. Google [your state] code and word search “expungement.”

ahaha<3: get a lawyer(:

How many years would a sex offender get even though he/she haven’t met the person?

How many years would a sex offender get even though he/she haven’t met the person?
Just wondering,it was an episode on Boston Legal.A guy was talking to a girl online but they never got together.Does he still gets years in prison?He has committed the same crime but he met the chick and got 4 years.

By Saundra C -07-21 22:11:42


Night_owl: These days crimes committed online are considered alongside crimes that aren’t. Having child pornography on a computer will still get you arrested….so will solicitation of a minor as far as I know….but then again I’m not in law enforcement so its just my guess.

What kind of lawyer deals with juvenile criminal law?

What kind of lawyer deals with juvenile criminal law?
Specifically, what kind of lawyer should you contact regarding legal advice about potential juvenile sex offenses?

By radishmaster -07-31 04:47:58


Rent: I think it is better you discuss your case with pro bono based (free of charge) attorney in your area before you move on the next steps. This is important because you may hear good advise from the one who specialized in the area. Anyway, since they are free of charge, you have nothing to lose to consult your problem with them. Trust me, they are very good people, very professional and willing to help you all out. You may have the complete list of top pro bono attorneys in USA on ( I think I just found an article there as well about juvenile criminal case). Just visit the website as soon as possible to get help.

Another website for the complete list of law firms in USA can also be found on
You may even search law firm by state, in your area.

Have a great of luck!

Honolulu, Hawaii Criminal Attorney John Schum – (808) 235-3363 On Violent Crimes

Honolulu, Hawaii Criminal Attorney John Schum – (808) 235-3363 On Violent Crimes

Violent Crimes with Hawaii Criminal Defense Attorney John Schum (808) 235-3363 Law Office of John Schum, LLLC 737 Bishop Street, Suite 1460 Honolulu, Hawaii …

JUVENILE RECORD SEALING what should i write on the additional information comments to asure i get it sealed?

JUVENILE RECORD SEALING what should i write on the additional information comments to asure i get it sealed?
yes my probation was terminated when i was 18 and now im requesting my record sealed ,…. im 20 and was curious what i should write on the aditional info comments to help assure i get it sealed… it leaves a paragraph to write whatever

By Jacob Vincent -01-19 04:59:04


fishlakeguy: Be aware that it will never be sealed as far as a government agency. state, or federal agency is concerned….If you apply for any govt job, it can be accessed….

Odd Job: Write that you are fully reformed and you will never seek sex from 2 year old boys again.