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Reasons Why You Should Not Lie to Your Criminal Defense Lawyer


If you are facing criminal charges, it is of utmost importance to retain a defense attorney. While you have the right to represent yourself, it is advisable that you avoid being your own defense lawyer. After hiring a defense lawyer, you must avoid lying to them. It might seem obvious that you should be honest with your defense attorney, but the truth is that some criminal defendants lie to their attorneys for various reasons. Lying to your criminal defense lawyer is never a good idea. Telling lies to your defense lawyer is the most counter-productive thing you can do. Remember, the attorney-client privilege protects you. Your attorney cannot share anything you tell them with anyone, including the prosecuting attorney.

Why Do Criminal Defendants Lie to Their Attorneys?

Criminal defendants lie to their attorneys for various reasons. But generally, criminal defendants lie to their attorneys because they believe they have more to gain by lying and more to lose if they tell the truth. However, this is rarely the case. Often, when a defendant lies about their case, they end up losing more than they would have lost had they been honest. The following are some of the main reasons criminal defendants lie to their defense attorneys:

  • Punishment: Some criminal defendants lie because they fear the potential consequences of a conviction. They lie in the hope that their lies will prevent a conviction.
  • Fear of judgment: Some people are scared of admitting they did something wrong because they do not want people to judge them.
  • Shame: A criminal defendant may lie because they are embarrassed and don’t want certain things coming to light. For example, it is common for people to lie about their DUI case because, for most people, a DUI charge is embarrassing.

Why You Should Not Lie to Your Criminal Defense Lawyer

While it can be tempting to lie to your criminal defense lawyer, you must avoid doing so. The following are some of the main reasons why you should not lie to your criminal defense lawyer:

  1. Your Case Will Last Longer

To have the best chance of concluding your case within the least amount of time, you should tell your defense attorney everything from the start. A lot of precious time is wasted when attorneys need to restart building defenses after finding out information in the middle of a case.

  1. Your Credibility May Be Called Into Question

If the other side discovers that you lied, they may call your credibility into question, which may adversely impact the outcome of your case.

  1. Your Case Will Be More Expensive

Lying about your case will prolong legal representation, which will in turn lead to you paying more in legal fees.

  1. Lying Makes Negotiations More Difficult

Often, criminal cases are resolved through plea deals. If you lie and the prosecution finds out, it may be hard for your attorney to get you a fair plea deal.

  1. You Could Face Additional Charges and Go to Jail

If you lie under oath, you could be charged with perjury. You could go to prison if you are found guilty of perjury.

Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you’re facing criminal charges and need professional representation, contact our skilled and dedicated NYC criminal attorney, Mark I. Cohen, at 212-732-0002.



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"... Mr. Cohen's effort... in everything he has done before the Court, is A-Plus... [R]ecently, in another case... [before me], the result he achieved for his client... was quite impressive." Honorable Kenneth M. Karas, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"So I have very sophisticated counsel here and, Mr. Cohen, [your client] is very fortunate in having you as his attorney, and I hope he appreciates that." – Quote from the Honorable Denise L. Cote, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"As Mark Cohen, a defense lawyer who has tried cases throughout the city and was a prosecutor in the Bronx, pointed out, there is a saying among defense lawyers in New York." – As provided in the New York Times City Room Blog.

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