The First Commandment of Criminal Defense is thou canst not create a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, no matter how good you are. Some cases are dead-bang losers and you must be able to identify and dispose of them, if at all possible, without going to trial. That usually involves a plea bargain and a guilty plea.
There are two kind of plea bargains: charge bargains where charges are dropped or reduced in exchange for a guilty plea, and sentencing bargains where the prosecutor agrees to recommend a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.
You should be prepared to take a case to trial, if the prosecutor is unwilling to give your client a benefit in exchange for pleading guilty. The prosecutor must know that you are willing to do that or you will not get the best deal for your client.
The Second Commandment is thou shalt not fail to use your independent judgment and act in the best interests of your client. The relationship must be a professional one, not a codependent one. It is not a friendship of equals.
Your client hired you, or you were appointed to represent him, because you are a professional with the requisite knowledge and skill to do the job. Because of that knowledge and skill, which your client does not have, and your duty to use your independent judgment, you must be the boss in the relationship.
I can think of no better example of a difficult and self-destructive client than George Zimmerman. Four words illustrate the disaster that can happen when the lawyer permits the client to make the decisions: READ MORE