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A criminal charge can turn anyone’s life upside down. However, if an accuser is not to blame for the crime, why should they face punishment? Unfortunately, with emotions running high in criminal trials, the line between fair and unjust can completely disappear. A criminal justice attorney’s duty is to ensure their client is treated fairly by the criminal justice system. In some cases, their aim is to reduce penalties or get an acquittal for their client.
Legal vs. Factual Guilt
What’s at stake in such cases is whether the prosecuting attorney can prove the defendant committed the crime they are charged with. It may seem similar, but it is different than asking whether the accused committed the act that resulted in the crime.
Defense attorneys will not ask if their client committed the crime. They will ask themselves whether the prosecution can prove they did. In other words, unless the latter can provide sufficient evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury or court their client is guilty, attorneys know they can prove their client’s innocent.
However, they will not lie to the judge or jury. Their focus will be on proving the government’s failure to prove their client is guilty and thus protect their rights according to the Fifth Amendment. This includes protecting clients who acted because of an inherent mental illness.
Let’s look at an example to understand this. Say a client (Eric) is falsely accused of stealing cigarettes from a convenience store and the prosecution claims it has video evidence. However, after investigating, the criminal defense attorney finds the video quality is grainy and thus useless as evidence. This fact can be used to acquit the accused because the evidence cannot be held up in court without being questioned.
If you have been falsely accused of a crime or need an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights in court, the attorneys from Michael D. Ettinger & Associates can help. We have an excellent track record of successful cases in Palos Heights, Illinois and beyond and can overcome complex legal hurdles, which are related to a range of civil and criminal matters. The firm’s three criminal defense attorneys are ready to defend you against any charges you face. Get in touch with us today for a consultation.