The Job of a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Have you ever thought that there will come a time when you will spend a day in court? Well, this may not be true to all individuals but what if you're one of those unlucky people who get charged of a certain criminal act? Don't fear because during these very difficult times, you can count on your criminal defense lawyer to defend you, whether you're guilty or innocent.

How does a lawyer perform his job? Public defenders are appointed to accused individuals who can't afford to pay for legal services. The accused has no other choice but to work with them because he can't afford a private lawyer. Before the arraignment, the accused and the defense lawyer should meet so that all the details of the case can be discussed.

The accused should be honest enough to accept a certain crime if he or she did commit it but if the accused is innocent the lawyer must be able to effectively prove it in court. Ample time is given to the accused and the defense lawyer so that they perform investigations, examine the existing evidence, and review the police reports.

During the trial, the defense and the prosecution will present their own witnesses. The defense lawyer should be able to cross examine the witnesses of the prosecution. The aim of the defense is to present arguments that will favor the accused.

Before the trial, both parties meet. Some criminal cases never proceed to the actual trials because settlements were made out of the court. Both parties with their respective lawyers talk to each other to see if they can settle the dispute. If no settlements are made, the trial will proceed.

Once the court proceedings start, the lawyer works doubly hard. After all the witnesses of both parties has spoken and presented their evidence, the defense and prosecution lawyer will summarize everything and make a closing argument. If your defense lawyer is a very good one, you don't have to worry about anything because you're in good hands.

The jury will decide if the accused should be punished or acquitted. If for instance the decision of the jury is ‘guilty', the accused can still make an appeal. However, you will be a free man if the decision of the jury is not guilty.

In the case of private lawyers, they simply wait in their offices or law firms until someone hires their services. When an accused seeks their help, the private defense lawyer will first interview you and evaluate your case. The defense lawyer can also turn down an offer unlike the public defenders. Most private lawyers charge hourly rates or flat rates. There are even times when the cost of the legal services gets very expensive especially if the trial runs for a long time.

The job of the criminal defense lawyer is to prove the innocence of his client, no matter what happens. They will assume that the accused is not guilty until proven otherwise. Even if the accused told you that he or she committed the crime, you will still need to prove their innocence because if you can't, they will end up paying fines and worse, spend many years in jail.

There are even those who are sentenced to death because of the serious crime they committed. Lawyers want to win their cases and so they need to apply all their expertise and knowledge for the good of their client.

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