top of page
  • bennettandbennett

Factual Guilt vs. Legal Guilt

When people talk about “defending the innocent” or “defending the guilty” they’re talking about factual guilt — did the person do what he’s accused of doing? — rather than legal innocence or guilt — has the government proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did what he’s accused of doing (and that no defenses apply)?

The distinction is crucial to an understanding of how and why I do what I do.

Whether they did what they’re accused of or not, everybody I represent in trial is legally innocent; they remain that way unless the government can prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (either in a jury trial or with a guilty plea).

Whether my clients are factually innocent or factually guilty — whether they did what they’re accused of doing — isn’t directly relevant to their defense. Often in America factually innocent people are found guilty; more often (I devoutly hope) factually guilty people are not found guilty.

It doesn’t matter much to me whether my clients did what they’re accused of; what matters most is whether the government can prove its case against them.

Technorati Tags: criminal defense, philosophy, guilt



Recent Posts

See All

Under section 46.05(a)(3) of the Texas Penal Code, it is a felony to possess, manufacture, transport, repair, or sell a "prohibited weapon," including a chemical dispensing device. Chemical dispensing

What is Online Solicitation of a Minor? Online Solicitation of a Minor is one of two offenses created by sections 33.021(b) and 33.021(c) of the Texas Penal Code: Sec. 33.021. ONLINE SOLICITATION OF

Facing drug-possession charges can be a harrowing experience with potentially severe consequences. To navigate the complex legal system and protect your rights, you'll need a top drug-possession lawye

bottom of page