When you step into any field of law, you will find lawyers representing who, at first glance, clearly seem guilty.
Witnessing it on a superficial level may make it seem immoral, but there are several factors that affect a criminal lawyer’s choice of clients. These attorneys face intense criticism for defending the accused, as it is not readily apparent why they have chosen to do so.
The law gives everyone the right to defend themselves, and criminal lawyers are the means by which the accused can do so. Let’s take a deep dive into the world of criminal law and find out why criminal lawyers in Toronto are not for criminals but for the accused.
5 Reasons Why Criminal Lawyers Defend The Guilty
1. Proof Of Guilt
The accused is innocent until conclusive evidence suggests otherwise. It is up to the prosecution to provide the said evidence, as simply accusing someone of any given crime is not enough.
Criminal lawyers represent the defendant to cross-examine the prosecution’s facts and ensure that the accused isn’t treated unfairly.
2. The Principles Of Justice
Justice is never one-sided; rather the law functions to remain impartial and provide an equal right to defence for everyone. In order to uphold the law, the accused may be represented by criminal lawyers, depending on the nature of the criminal charges and the evidence presented.
It is important for the defendant to have sufficient defence so as to avoid being proven guilty for a crime they did not commit.
3. Finding Humanity In The Accused
Some criminal lawyers strive to find humanity in their prospective clients. They acknowledge that personal circumstances contribute more to someone turning to a life of crime, rather than inherent malice.
Often, you will find criminal lawyers vehemently against the death penalty. They fight for a life sentence rather than allow a death sentence when defending a criminal who is indisputably guilty.
4. The Rights Of The Accused
According to Section 11 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, if a person is charged with a criminal offence, they reserve the right to:
- Be presumed innocent until proven guilty
- A speedy trial
- Be informed about the specific offence they are charged with
- A reasonable bail
- Not be a witness against themself
- Trial by jury if the offence punishes them with five years of imprisonment or more
In the interest of protecting these rights, criminal lawyers often represent the accused.
5. Judgement From A Moral Standpoint
Though they are not morally committed to a criminal’s deeds, lawyers have a moral responsibility to hold criminals accountable. But that can also be turned around to ensure that the prosecution is held accountable in the event of a false accusation.
It is the moral choice of not allowing justice to be one-sided which drives criminal lawyers to defend the guilty.
The ethics of a criminal lawyer representing someone who is believed to be guilty has always been under scrutiny. But the truth of the matter is that lawyers are ethically bound to represent all clients as lawmakers and upholders while leaving the judgement to the judge.