The 3 Types Of Stories Defense Attorneys Hear

The 3 Types Of Stories Defense Attorneys Hear

by Aug 13, 2019

In every criminal case, there are three versions of what happened. There’s what the prosecution alleges happened, what the defense says happened, and what actually happened. In many cases, it can be difficult or impossible to know what actually happened when a crime was committed. This can be due to a lack of evidence, lack of witnesses, unreliable testimony from the victim or defendant, or any combination of those things.

When there is a lack of physical evidence and witnesses in a case, a lot more weight (and scrutiny) is placed on the stories and testimony of the defendants and the victims. This is why the version of events a defendant tells their defense attorney is so essential. These stories typically fall into one of three types.

1) Confession Stories

While not as common as the two other types of stories defendants tell their lawyers, on occasion clients will come in and admit that they are “guilty as charged.”

Believe it or not, when a client simply confesses to the crime, it can often make a defense attorney’s job easier. With a confession, an attorney knows what the truth is and doesn’t need to worry about their client hiding critical information that might surface later in the case.

Even with a confession, a defense attorney is still obligated to defend their client to the best of their ability. Much of what happens in cases when a client has admitted guilt to their attorney depends on evidence the prosecution gathers and presents in court.

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2) Total Denial Stories

Total denials of any wrongdoing are by far the most common type of story defense attorneys hear. When a client denies all charges against them, defense attorneys have to be a bit more careful.

If their client is, in fact, actually not guilty and has been falsely accused, then the case is (usually) much easier to defend.

When a client lies about being innocent to their defense attorney, the chances of them being caught go up exponentially. Hiding the truth from an attorney puts the attorney as a huge disadvantage.

3) Admit And Explain Stories

An “admit and explain” story is often equal parts confession and denial. For example, a client accused of robbery may admit that yes, they were at the scene of the crime when it occurred, but the actual robbery was committed by someone else.

These types of stories are tricky for defense attorneys because it can be challenging to discern how much of the confession is true and how much of the denial is false. Experienced defense attorneys know how to question their clients and get a better idea of how much of their story is true. However, a lot still depends on the defendant’s honesty.

The Whole Truth And Nothing But

In many criminal defense cases, the success or failure of the defense hinges on how truthful a defense attorney’s client has been with them.

Hiding information from an attorney is often a fast track to a conviction and jail time. The best favor a defendant can do for themselves is to be completely honest and forthright with their attorney as possible from the very beginning.

To learn more or to get help with a criminal matter, please contact our offices today for a free consultation.


At Quinnan Law, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 540-2356.

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