The main goal of a criminal defense attorney is to represent a defendant who has been charged with a criminal offense or accused of a crime. The principal responsibility of a criminal defense lawyer is to ensure that their client receives all the protections provided by the criminal code. They must always strive to help their clients obtain the best outcome with their case regarding the evidence that has been presented against them.
What Can A Criminal Defense Lawyer Do For A Client?
During an initial consultation and before the attorney is retained, the lawyer must review the case of the prospective client based on the information received. They must also discuss with their potential clients the options available to them and what the best strategy of defense might be. The accused must understand that there are actions they must not make in order not to jeopardize their case before it goes to trial.
Once the criminal defense attorney has been retained, the client will have to appear in court for an arraignment, during which all charges will be read. The attorney will then enter their response. Unless the lawyer can negotiate a fair plea, it is customary for all defendants to respond with a not guilty plea. The case is now set to go to trial.
What Happens After The Arraignment?
After the arraignment, the prosecutor will give the criminal defense lawyer the case file. Armed with this information, the lawyer will review it closely to find any holes in the District Attorney’s case. Paralegals at the law office will be tasked with looking for case reports that will serve to support their defense. They will also look for any violations of the defendant’s rights.
What Happens If The Defendant Is Convicted?
The attorney will be by their client’s side during sentencing. If their client is convicted, the lawyer will recommend light sentencing treatment alternatives or fight to get their client the option of a treatment program that will help them become contributing members of society and not a burden.
One goal of a criminal defense attorney is to try to help their clients avoid jail time. If the law allows for no alternative, they may fight for shorter sentences.
What Benefits Does A Criminal Defense Lawyer Offer Their Clients?
A criminal defense attorney has to have extraordinary investigative abilities since they need to comb through evidence pertaining to the charges. They may need to talk to witnesses, find experts on the matter, and gather additional evidence to strengthen the defense.
They will also work with the defendant to decide how to proceed with the defense, negotiate with the prosecution to look for a plea deal, or develop a strong defense strategy to protect their client’s rights.
An Important Aspect Of The Work A Criminal Defense Attorney Performs
Defense attorneys must constantly work for people facing charges that could potentially result in the loss of their freedom, sometimes for very long periods or even for their entire lives. This fact alone can make for a potentially emotional environment to work in. They bear a heavy responsibility when they plan how to protect the rights of their clients best because the consequences can be disastrous for their clients if they lose.