Why Do I Need a Lawyer if I’m Guilty of the Charges?

March 30, 2015

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577


We were all taught to take responsibility for our actions when we were children.  We are internally programmed that we will be rewarded by coming clean by fair treatment and a clean conscience.

The Leap of Faith

Taking responsibility for your actions is a leap of faith. You are trusting that when you take responsibility you will be treated fairly and justly by those in authority.  Parents and teachers hopefully always treated you fairly when you owned-up to a mistake.  They made the punishment fit the crime and they put your mistake in perspective.

This doesn’t always happen in the criminal justice system.  The state or government’s version of responsibility may be drastically more cruel or harsh than you might think.  Thus, taking the ‘leap of faith’ that you will be dealt with fairly doesn’t always work out.

Understanding The Disconnect

Knowing why the state’s version of justice and our own is so far apart can be complex question.  The three most common answers I can think of are as follows:

(1)  Some times the law just isn’t fair.  Police and prosecutors are bound by the law… and those laws are created by our legislature… and our legislature is comprised of politicians who probably didn’t campaign on being easy on crime.

(2)  Some prosecutors and judges can be misguided.  Many have never defended anyone accused of a crime so they don’t understand the fears, emotions and worries of criminal defendants or their families.  In their defense most do their best to empathize… they’ve just never walked in a defense lawyer’s shoes.

(3) Jurors sitting on a case have never been in trouble themselves.  Many tend to think someone in trouble is in trouble for a reason.  They think because someone made different choices than they would have made, they deserve to be punished harshly.

Why You STILL Need a Lawyer

You need an advocate who knows the mind-set of the people making crucial decisions.  This goes for plea negotiations, dealing with judges and the occasional trial where the only debate is what is a fair punishment.  An effective lawyer can translate your fears, worries, and problems to the prosecutor, Judge or Jury in a way which turns them into an ally instead of an enemy.

Collateral Consequences

Sometimes we have to get a Not Guilty verdict because of the collateral consequences of a conviction.  This can include situations where we are concerned about a divorce/ custody situation, professional licensing or immigration consequences.  Often those charged with the crime don’t understand the full implications of their guilty plea in other areas of their life.  This is precisely why they need a lawyer who knows the broader view.

Putting the State to Its Burden

Just because you’re guilty doesn’t mean you still can’t fight for an acquittal.  There is nothing illegal, immoral, or dishonest about pleading not guilty and having a trial.  What you accomplish here is keeping the system — and those in it — honest.

Police and prosecutors would have everyone believe they do a good job on big cases because they’re the good-guys in the blind pursuit of justice.  Human nature tells us even though that may be mainly true — they will also do a good job if they know their homework is being graded.  Isn’t that we all want anyway?

The framers of the Constitution knew how to keep their government in check, didn’t they?





White Collar Crime

March 23, 2015

Divorce and Child Custody Related Criminal Accusations

March 11, 2015

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal


(972) 369-0577

Divorce brings out the worst in people.  Bitter feelings are fueled by a combination of resentment, betrayal, and/or basic loss of control over what might perceived to be the health and safety of children.

Ex or soon to be ex-spouses are much more brazen about making accusations than most every-day people for a variety of reasons — not the least of which is the fact an ex-spouse also coincidentally has much to gain by making (and following through on) accusations.

Here are some of the most common criminal accusations which tend to stem from divorce and/or custody disputes:

  • Assault
  • Criminal trespass
  • Interference with Child Custody
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child
  • Indecency with a Child
  • Injury to a Child
  • Terroristic Threat
  • Unauthorized Computer Access

Most people think of criminal charges and accusations as so far fetched that someone would only make such a claim against another if there were at least some degree of truth to the claim.  Accusers going through a divorce or custody dispute, though, have their view of the facts soured by their own emotions, agenda, and self-interested perspective.  Unfortunately accusers can also manipulate or poison their own children’s perspective in these types of cases too.

Law enforcement’s view of these types of claims also varies.  Sometimes an accuser finds a receptive audience who might not understand or is deaf to the dynamic of the underlying divorce or custody proceedings.  Often law enforcement is “stuck” in the middle because while they know claims are being fueled by self-interest — they simply must follow up on certain types of allegations as part of their public duties.

Examining and defending any of these charges means examining the details of the divorce or custody proceedings which are related.  Defense lawyers must show prosecutors, judges and jurors the context of the allegations and what other interested people have to gain by making such allegations.  This can only be done through detailed investigation of all the surrounding facts and circumstances.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice about any situation you should contact an attorney directly.  Communications through this blog are not confidential.

Interference With Child Custody

March 10, 2015