Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu

Should I Admit Guilt To My Criminal Defense Attorney?


After being arrested and charged with a crime, you need to retain a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, hiring a criminal defense attorney can be very advantageous. An experienced criminal defense attorney can create a strong defense to help you fight your charges.

If you committed an offense, you may be wondering whether you should admit guilt to your attorney. You may be worried that admitting guilt will lead to your attorney abandoning your case or not trying hard to get an acquittal.

Should You Admit You Committed a Crime to Your Attorney?

Some criminal defense attorneys do not want to know what their clients did or did not do. However, most criminal defense attorneys want their clients to tell them everything about their case, including what they did or did not do. So, suppose you are working with a criminal defense attorney who wants you to tell them everything about your case, including what you did or did not do. Should you admit guilt to them? And will admitting guilt make your attorney abandon your case or not try hard to get an acquittal?

It would be best if you were honest with your criminal defense attorney. Your criminal defense attorney will not offer you lesser representation simply because they believe you committed a crime. In fact, some attorneys assume their clients are guilty to help them present the best defense. A criminal defense attorney’s primary concern is usually whether the prosecutor has enough evidence to prove that their client is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Your criminal defense attorney is not there to judge you. That is the job of the jury and the judge. Your attorney’s main job is to make sure your constitutional rights are protected, and that includes ensuring you are given a fair trial.

Remember, just because you committed a particular offense does not mean that what the prosecutor is claiming is true. For example, your attorney can argue that you committed the offense unintentionally or without criminal intent. If your attorney is successful in establishing such a defense, you may be able to get reduced charges or a plea deal.

Ethical Issues

It is vital to note that, as much as a criminal defense attorney is required to defend their client, even if they believe their client is guilty, there are certain things that criminal defense attorneys cannot do. Criminal defense attorneys are bound by certain ethical expectations that they must not violate. For example, if you tell your attorney certain facts and then lie about those facts under oath, your attorney is bound to report your behavior. This is because your attorney is prohibited from allowing you to commit perjury under oath.

However, your criminal defense attorney can present facts that strengthen their version of events. For instance, if you are being charged with assault, your attorney can claim that the assault was provoked in an attempt to show the court that you did not have criminal intent or a desire to cause harm.

Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges in NYC or anywhere in New York, the experienced NYC criminal defense attorney Mark I. Cohen, Esq. can help. Call 212-732-0002 today to schedule a consultation.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
The New York Criminal Bar Association
Avvo Clients' Choice Award 2017
Avvo Reviews Mark L. Cohen


"... 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.

Have an emergency? Call now
Translate »