Interviewer: How often do people say to you, “They got me, I’m guilty? I did do it. Shouldn’t I just give up and plea to this?”
Eric: Surprisingly it happens quite often. It’s actually good for them to say that to me. I much rather have a client say to me that they were drinking, that they had 10 drinks as supposed to what they told the officer when they said they had only one or two drinks.
In Our Society, the Burden of Proof Is Placed on the Prosecution
The fact that somebody tells me that they doesn’t’ mean that they can’t defend their case, because we live in a society that still puts the burden of proof on the government. As long as I know that the person did it, I can still protect the person’s rights and I can still make the government prove the case.
It is my role to look for faults and technical issues in the case. I can make this work to the client’s benefit because I have found that over the years, if the person lies to the lawyer that means that everybody else involved knows the truth but the lawyer.
Feelings of Guilt Have Little Weight in Our Judicial System; as Long as Your Attorney Has the Necessary Facts, He or She Can Utilize Every Possible Method to Defend You
Usually the government will find out before the lawyer and that doesn’t help the client. Maybe I’ve done something already and put the wheels in motion to go in one direction and it’s hard to no go in a different direction because the client didn’t tell me the truth.
We’re happy that the client tells me the truth. We still are able to successfully defend cases where people have told me that they did it and I’ve successfully defended cases where people on videotape and in writing have admitted to the police, “I did it.” Yet, we were successful in defending those cases.
By Eric Sachs