What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

January 10, 2023 Off By Glespynorson

If you’re facing criminal charges, competent legal representation offers you the best odds of beating the rap. A criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights and interests while defending you. For example, Aric Cramer is a lawyer with years of experience representing defendants in numerous kinds of cases. This is the best criminal attorney in St. George, helping those with complex cases.

Being accused of serious crimes can be very daunting for many people. Whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony, there is usually punishment involved in the form of a fine or prison sentence if the accused person is found guilty of the said crime. In rare cases, the accused may get the death penalty upon conviction. During such trying moments for the defendant, a criminal attorney provides a beacon of hope, helping the defendant to put up a good defense. The Constitution grants every citizen the right to a fair trial. Criminal lawyers are a crucial part of this process. Among other things, they ensure that the defendant’s rights are not violated.

What a Criminal Lawyer Does

Representing a client during criminal proceedings is a broad concept that describes what a criminal lawyer does. However, this representation encompasses several other things, all of which constitute the duties of a criminal attorney.

These include:

1) Information Gathering

Criminal trials can be very demanding, requiring both sides to prepare extensively. If you’re a defendant facing a possibly long jail sentence, your case must be handled properly to reduce the possibility of such a sentence. A crucial part of proper criminal case handling involves gathering information. If you’ve sought the services of a criminal attorney because of charges against you, you’ll likely be in jail awaiting trial. This means that the criminal defense attorney you hire is your best shot at gathering the necessary information and evidence to build your case. As part of their legal training, criminal attorneys know how to gather the necessary evidence to build a proper case. Whether it’s interviewing witnesses or visiting the crime scene to examine any forensic evidence, a criminal defense attorney will work hard to collate all such information. Crucially, they’ll also ensure that the opposing counsel doesn’t manipulate the evidence in a way that will undermine your defense.

2) Assessing Your Case

Criminal trials can be complex. Between organizing witness statements and all the necessary evidence, there will be several moving parts. Keeping track of all of them simultaneously is challenging. A criminal defense attorney is trained to examine and keep track of all aspects of a criminal case. For example, seemingly insignificant physical evidence could prove to be a crucial piece of the puzzle that clinches victory for the defendant. It’s a criminal attorney’s job to analyze all evidence and circumstances surrounding a case. This enables them to give a fairly accurate assessment of the case and the general direction in which it is headed. Many times, defendants want to know whether or not they’ll be found guilty. While a criminal defense lawyer cannot offer any guarantees, they can make an educated guess based on all the evidence and information available to provide an accurate assessment of the case.

3) Jury Selection

Most people already have opinions about a case based on their background, preferences, and other biases. Having such individuals on a jury can make it very unfavorable for a defendant even before they’ve had their day in court. Part of a criminal attorney’s job is to weed out such individuals from the jury pool to ensure that they don’t jeopardize a defendant’s case due to any negative feelings they may have about the case or defendant. A criminal defense attorney can do this personally or with the assistance of a jury selection expert.

4) Plea Bargaining

Sometimes, the odds are so heavily stacked against the defendant that there is no reasonable expectation of winning the case. In such cases, a plea bargain becomes the next best thing. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help negotiate a plea bargain for their client. This usually involves the defendant pleading guilty to certain charges in exchange for some form of leniency during the sentencing process.

These are some of the main things that a criminal attorney does in furtherance of their client’s cause.

What Does A Criminal Defense Lawyer Do? | Michigan Criminal Defense

Pro Se Representation

The law allows individuals to represent themselves in criminal cases. While rare, the courts can sometimes overrule an individual’s right to self-representation in a criminal case. A common issue is that most people that choose to avoid hiring a criminal attorney grossly overestimate their legal knowledge and skills, putting themselves at a great disadvantage throughout a trial. That’s why pro se representation is never advised unless one has an extensive base of legal knowledge.

Is a Private Attorney Better Than a Court-Appointed One?

Hiring a criminal defense attorney in private practice or going with a public defender isn’t a thought that will cross your mind until you’re faced with possible criminal charges. It then becomes a matter of deciding which one is better.

The general consensus among many people is that criminal defense attorneys in private practice are better than court-appointed ones. After all, a public defender may not fully focus on a case, given that they’re not trying to prove anything unlike most private criminal defense attorneys.

A common reason why people opt for criminal defense attorneys in private practice is that you can expect full attention and effort from such a lawyer. On average, a public defender is usually representing several clients at any given time. This will undoubtedly put great strain on their time, energy, and mental resources. As such, a public defender may not be the best option for you as far as legal representation goes. Of course, many public defenders do a good job of representing their clients in criminal cases.

Legal representation in a criminal case, whether by a criminal defense attorney in private practice or a public defender, is always a role of the dice. However, given the pressures of the role, going with a public defender may seem too much of a risk that most people don’t want to assume.

All in all, a criminal attorney is there to defend a defendant throughout the legal process.