Should I expect a criminal defense lawyer to guarantee a good result?

No lawyer should guarantee a win, or even a specific result.

Question

Can I expect a criminal defense attorney to guarantee that I "get off", or get my charges reduced?

Answer

Toasters come with warrantees; attorneys don’t. Defendants should be wary of lawyers who guarantee satisfactory outcomes (in fact, it's against the code of professional conduct to do so). Besides, too much of what may happen is beyond a defense lawyer’s control for a hard guarantee to make sense. A lawyer who guarantees an outcome may simply be trying a hard-sell tactic to induce the defendant to hire him. On the other hand, it may make perfect sense for a lawyer to express strong confidence about the outcome, as long as he doesn’t express this confidence in absolute terms.

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