Will pleading Not Guilty when you know you did it give you bad karma? Perhaps. But according to the lawyers we contacted, it is not a lie. Here is the standard legal thinking. You are just asking the prosecutor to show evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that you did it. So it is sort of like saying, “Where is your proof?”
Plus if you plead Guilty, the law enforcement official doesn’t have to prove anything. You could find yourself going directly to jail or paying a bunch of money or both.
Here is a real life example. We will call the defendant … oh, say ,,, you. So you roll through a stop sign and the police pull you over. You go to court. You know you did it and you plead (drum roll) Not Guilty.
The officer has only his word and the judge doesn’t know who is telling the truth. So the wise judge sends you to driving school and drops the charges. Judge Wise drops a little legal insight on your way out, “It will be good for both you and the pedestrians of our fair community.” Justice may be blind but has attitude.
The result is that you have prevented all sorts of negative legal consequences because you didn’t volunteer all you knew. In American’s legal system that is all right.
Now it took a bit of legal thinking to bypass the lie problem, but try this. Since you are innocent until proven guilty and the government has not proven anything yet, you are not guilty; therefore, no lie.
If you are giving testimony, tell the truth. But as any good lawyer will tell you, don’t volunteer anything. Padding your part will most likely get you into trouble. In the courtroom as well as life when in doubt, shut up.