A criminal defense attorney specializes in the defense of individuals, organizations and entities accused of crimes. They represent defendants in state, federal and appellate courts. In some states, criminal lawyers are certified as â€œcriminal law specialistsâ€ based on their experience and extensive training.
Defending Your Rights:
What Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?
One of the most important duties of a criminal defense lawyer is to protect their clientsâ€™ rights throughout all stages of a case. This includes investigating the facts of the case, interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence. The lawyer also conducts legal research to determine the most effective way to build their clientâ€™s defense.
Another critical role of a criminal defense lawyer is to negotiate with the prosecution (the governmentâ€™s lawyers) on behalf of their client. They may do this to secure reduced bail, plea bargains or other benefits for their client. These deals are increasingly important in todayâ€™s crowded jails and overcrowded court calendars.
Representing the People:
Besides representing their clients in a criminal trial, defense attorneys also work with communities to prevent crime. Many of these lawyers work in private practice or for the government as public defenders. They can also serve as volunteer attorneys for non-profit organizations or in the military.
Investigating a Case:
A defense lawyerâ€™s first job is to interview the defendant and collect all of the relevant details of the case. This includes asking them pointed questions about the events that led to their arrest, the police procedures and any witnesses who can provide information about what happened.
As part of their defense strategy, criminal lawyers often try to find evidence that supports their clientâ€™s innocence. They do this by interviewing witnesses and examining any forensic evidence. They also examine the police report, review search and seizure procedures and gather any other relevant documents. Recommended this site car accident lawyers Washington DC.
Negotiating with the Prosecution:
When a defendant is facing serious charges, a criminal defense attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor on their behalf to try to obtain a plea agreement. These plea agreements, when accepted, can include reduced bail, sentencing reductions and other terms.
Working with the Jury:
A key aspect of a criminal defense lawyerâ€™s job is to defend their clientâ€™s right to a fair trial. The lawyer must be able to convince a jury that their client is not guilty and that the charges against them are unfounded. The lawyer must be able to persuade the jury of this by providing evidence and testimony from other sources that support their clientâ€™s position.
Defending the Constitution:
Ultimately, the goal of every criminal defense lawyer is to protect their clientsâ€™ constitutional rights. In order to do this, they must understand the United States Constitution and its amendments. This includes the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unlawful searches and seizures and the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees a defendantâ€™s right to remain silent and to have his or her counsel present during the trial.