The function of criminal defense attorneys and lawyers is the representation of anyone charged in court with a crime.
These crimes can range in their severity from misdemeanors up to felonies. Punishments also vary in their severity from community service and cash fines up to years spent in prison or even being sentenced to death.
It’s crucial that anyone charged with having committed a crime have representation during their criminal proceedings. As a matter of fact, the United States Constitution holds within it the promise that every citizen who is charged with a crime is to be provided representation. If you’re looking to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney or you already have, then you should know what kinds of services they might be able to perform on your behalf.
Once a criminal defense attorney like Marriett Legal has had a chance to meet their client personally, then they need to try and get just as many details regarding the case as they possibly can. They can learn the case’s strengths and weaknesses by asking specific questions. This interview with the defendant needs to be both careful and thorough, as the answers and information provided will lead to potential defenses.
On top of asking pointed and direct questions to the criminal defendant regarding their case, the defense attorney needs to also investigate the case further in order to find any other potential means of getting their defendant acquitted. That often means questioning the police involved in the case about any procedures they used as related to the investigation they did. It might even include talking to any witnesses that have information regarding the case and even collecting their own information. All of this is added up to hopefully build a robust defense. If an expert witness is going to be used for this case, the criminal defense lawyer might conduct an interview with them regarding the testimony they might provide regarding the evidence that gets presented in the case.
Criminal defense attorneys have the right to do a review of the prosecution’s case before it gets submitted to the assigned jury. That lets them find or poke holes in the prosecution’s case, as well as try to find any evidence that might refute the case of the prosecution, like hiring independent experts or labs in order to test the case evidence.
A defense attorney will need to study the theories and facts of the case carefully in order to properly analyze any evidence presented against the criminal defendant. They might choose to have evidence tested independently. Also, they might examine evidence to see if there happen to be legal theories working against a potential conviction of their client.
Defense attorneys need to stay in continual contact with their clients in order to explain developments to the case that arise or just keep them informed. The lawyer needs to ensure that all conversations with their client are kept confidential. Lawyers need to not only make sure that they are communicating case information to their clients but are doing so in a way that their clients understand the potential consequences and ramifications.
Defense lawyers in criminal trials also handle the jury selection process. They might try to have certain jurors removed for cause if there is a belief they could have a bias against a defendant or even when they might just have a bad feeling about any potential juror.
Criminal defense attorneys have the responsibility about talking with their client and even the prosecutor about the status of the case at any given time. Negotiations with the prosecutor can happen in regards to a certain plea bargain. Criminal defense lawyers can sometimes help their clients secure deals that are more favorable because they would result in reduced charges or even less potential punishment.
Having said that, defense attorneys fight for their clients during an actual trial. Plea bargains might forego a trial, but they can also happen during a trial based on how each side is doing. A defense lawyer examines witnesses, handles cross-examination of the witnesses of the state, and attempts to convince the jury of the fact that the prosecution didn’t meet their burden of proof.
If any criminal defendant winds up getting sentenced for their crime, it’s either because they took a plea bargain agreement, or they were convicted by the jury or judge. In either case, the criminal defense attorney can still represent their defendant during the actual sentencing phase. The lawyer might discuss various factors which help the jury or judge to be convinced to put a limit on how much time the defendant will have to serve. They might even discuss potential alternatives to having to go through incarceration.
These aren’t all the functions or roles that criminal defense lawyers and attorneys provide their clients, but it covers most of them.