Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm Not A Lawyer, But...

Apparently there is still a lot of confusion about defence attorneys. I will attempt to clear that up for you now.
  • A defence lawyer does not need to believe in the innocence of his client.
  • A defence lawyer's role is not to defend the actions of his client.
The role of the defence attorney is to:
  • defend the constitutional rights of his client thus ensuring his client gets a fair trial.
This is important. Without defence lawyers the government could push people around at whim. There would be nothing preventing police from barging into your house and going through your stuff. Even with a constitution, there needs to be people defending it. Most average citizens wouldn't be able to do this. I wonder how many Canadians know we even have a constitution?

Imagine the police just walked into your house tomorrow and found a smoking gun and arrested you for murder. What would you do? If you're the average person, you probably don't know the law in detail enough to raise the proper objections with constitutional basis. After arresting you, the police would likely interrogate you. You would likely talk. Most people do. Even if you've never seen that gun before. I think that most people don't know that in Canada you have the right to remain silent. But you do. It's in the constitution.

You can joke about defence attorney's all you like. I know I like to. But when it's your son that's arrested, suddenly a defence attorney is your best friend.

So, on what basis can I clear up misconceptions on defence attorneys? Why should you listen to me? I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. What are my credentials?

That's easy. I used to be an avid fan of Law&Order. I own the first two seasons on DVD! So there!

Oh yeah, and I took a bunch of law classes in university, but I'm not sure if that counts for anything.

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