No two stories ever told by criminal clients will ever be the same.

Confession: Defendants who tell their lawyers confession stories admit that they did what the prosecution claims: “Yes, I did break into the house through a window and steal the stereo.”

Complete denial: Defendants who tell their lawyers complete denial stories assert that the prosecution’s claims are totally false. An “alibiJail phones” is a familiar type of complete denial story: “I was in San Francisco when the house was robbed. I have no idea what they’re talking about.”

Admit and explain: This story falls between the “confession” and “complete denial” stories. Defendants who tell, “admit and explain” stories agree that part of the Prosecution’s claims are accurate, but assert legally critical differences: “I did go into the house and take the money, but I went in through the front door with a key after the person who lived there gave me permission to borrow the money.”

No matter which approach is taken this is the ground from which the defense strategy will grow. The defense strategy must also take into account factors such as the reliability of defense and prosecution witnesses, community attitudes towards the crime and the police, and the defendant’s “moral culpability.” All of these factors will be used to develop the defense “theory of the case” that is consistent with provable facts and explains events in a way that favors the defense.

Shawn C. Mills, Attorney at Law;
Law Office of Shawn C. Mills
Monterey Criminal Defense Attorney

702-A Forest Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950