Moral Reasons a Lawyer should Defend the Guilty

Any person who becomes a defense attorney has an obligation to provide the best defense available to their client.  There are not only moral reasons why lawyers should defend the guilty, but professional obligations.  Defense attorneys have to assure every client is afforded their constitutional right to legal counsel. 

Many lawyers prefer not to know if a person is guilty, however that knowledge should never interfer with their duty to obey the law as it stands.  Lawyers have an obligation to provide the best defense possible, if this legal right of an accused person is violated by their attorney the attorney may be subject to legal malpractice or even worse disbarment.

Lawyers are required to provide the best professional advise and defense regardless of their knoeledge of guilt.  Although, the law states that a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law defense attorneys are sometimes made aware of a persons guilt by their clients own admission. 

However, that information is confidential and must be kept private; the lawyer may not disclose this information, doing so would make the attorney-client privilege meaningless.   

When a client admits guilt to an attorney it may emotionally affect the lawyer, but the attorney is still bound by the legal and professional obligation to take every legal and ethical step allowed by law to serve their client.  

Imagine what would happen to our legal system if after an attorney’s client confessed and the knowledge of guilt simply allowed the attorney to refuse to represent the defendant; if this became common practice it would not only deny a defendant the right to counsel, with it the attorney-client privilege would be diminished.  

Moral reasons why lawyers should defend the guilty are connected to the oath an attorney takes, and like citizens lawyers and the courts have a duty to obey the laws.  

A defense attorney should never make decisions based on guilt, personal feelings or beliefs.  Lawyers have a professional and legal obligation to provide a defense strategy based on their clients best interest first and foremost.  

Defense attorneys may have a difficult task, but it is not their duty to determine guilt or innocence; they shall present their case in a court of law to a judge or a jury who shall decide the defendants guilt or innocence. 

The moral reasons for attorneys to defend the guilty are vital to our legal system, however many a people find it hard to understand the importance of legal defense being provided to a guilty person until they, or someone they know, are accused of a crime.