If you are accused of a federal crime, one of the most important steps to take is to start working with a defense attorney. Your life and liberties are on the line, so there is no reason to try to handle this situation on your own.

Some people worry that working with an attorney will set them up for failure, believing that their defense attorney may not take their side or will report them if they admit to their crime. The reality is that your attorney cannot lie in court or advise you to lie in court, but they are there to help you build a defense. Anything you say to them is said in confidence and can’t be spoken about with others unless confidence is lost due to others hearing the same information elsewhere.

What is your criminal defense attorney’s job?

Your criminal defense attorney’s job is to reduce your criminal charges, lessen the penalties, eliminate or reduce the jail or prison sentence you could face and to help you set up a defense strategy.

Choosing the right criminal defense attorney matters, because you need to be comfortable with them and trust their advice. Working with an attorney who has experience with cases like yours as well as a history of success is a good place to start. Remember, you can, and should, be completely honest with your attorney to develop the best defense for your case.

Our site has more on criminal defense and what you should consider if you need to work with a defense attorney in the future.