If you were caught stealing, have been accused of a violent crime, or are otherwise working with your attorney to fight your charges, it's important to consider the kinds of criminal defense strategies available. Innocence is not the only argument you can make to help you reduce your penalties or imprisonment length.
One thing you may find interesting is that the truth may be used in your defense. What if you don't want to have the truth come out? It's still important to share it with your attorney, who can help you create a compelling story for why the crime took place. By spinning the story in your favor, you can make yourself look like you were in the right acting in the way you did.
For example, if you did commit a crime but here coerced into it by your peers, you may be able to show that you tried to back out of the criminal act but were forced to participate. Why couldn't you withdraw? Maybe a peer had blackmail in the form of a video or traded your name to get out of trouble.
In a story where you both admit and explain what happened, you may be able to make the jury sympathetic to your plight. For example, if you were involved in a domestic violence situation and can convince the jury that you were being attacked and acted in self defense, it could work in your favor and allow you to succeed in having the charges against you dropped or altered for a lower penalty.
Source: Findlaw, "Criminal Defense Strategies," accessed Oct. 08, 2015