So, you’ve been arrested for a crime you haven’t committed. You’ve seen TV shows—you know that you have the right to an attorney, and that what you say can be used against you in a court of law. But you’re innocent! If you didn’t commit the crime, you won’t need a criminal defense lawyer.
Perhaps you cooperated with the police, answered the questions they had, and found that the District Attorney has filed formal charges against you. You’re facing a criminal trial—but there’s still no need for a lawyer, right? If you simply explain the misunderstanding in court, the truth should prevail.
That’s where you’re wrong.
Ideally, the truth will prevail in court, but not in the way you think. If you are a suspect in an investigation, the police will believe that you are guilty of the crime until you can prove it without a doubt. Even innocent parties might have a hard time explaining their innocence without accidentally incriminating themselves. If you find yourself in police custody for a crime you did not commit, calling a lawyer is not an admission of guilt—it is a smart move you need to make to protect yourself and your rights.
What You Need to Keep in Mind
If you’ve been formally charged of a crime, then you’re facing even more dire circumstances. Here is what you need to remember, no matter how innocent you believe yourself to be: District Attorneys are not your friend. Their job is to get convictions, not be impartial. The prosecutors are trained to look for incriminating evidence and use it in court to put you away. More importantly, if you have been charged, then that means there is enough evidence to prove your guilt in court.
Finding the Truth in the Middle
The way the criminal justice system works is through balance: through careful questioning and the adversarial relationship between the prosecutor and the criminal defense attorney, the truth is revealed and presented in court before a jury or judge. Both lawyers present two sides of a story, and together these offer a true account. Juries then decide whether the truth demands a guilty verdict or acquittal. Without a Prince George's County criminal defense attorney, the process is one-sided—and will end with your conviction.
In short, you need a criminal defense attorney no matter how innocent you are. Our role is to believe your innocence, build a case to protect you, and maintain your innocence in court against your accusers. The crucial nature of our role, both to you as an individual and to society as a whole, is why the “right to an attorney” is addressed in the U.S. Constitution. If you have been arrested or charged in Prince George’s County, Maryland—call the experienced and skilled criminal lawyers at Gracia & Mintz.