During a trial in court, the prosecutor is entrusted with the duty of proving beyond any reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the charges he is accused of. The prosecutor, being a representative of the government is responsible for seeking out the truth and is required to divulge all evidences obtained. A criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles on the other hand is only responsible for defending his/her client from legal implications.
Functions of a criminal defense attorney
A criminal defense lawyer is responsible for evaluating the charges against the defendant to check if there are any loopholes to get the case dismissed. The defense counsel then carries out a number of tasks such as inspect the claims, interviews the different prosecution witnesses, looks for other witnesses and seeks out forensic experts whose outlook is different from that of the expert testifying for the prosecution. The defense counsel then discusses with the defendant the benefits and risks of the different defenses possible. He can also advice his client on the best course of action, inform the consequences that he may have to face and any settlement offers by the prosecution.
In most cases, criminal charges conclude with a plea agreement. In such an agreement, the defendant in agreement with the prosecution can plead guilty to either the actual charges or a diminished charge to get a lower sentence. The criminal defense attorney is responsible for informing the defendant of the rights that he will be relinquishing by pleading guilty such as the right to a fair trial and appealing for any conviction during trial. He should also inform the defendant of the various conditions if such an agreement and the punishments that may be awarded.
Trial and appeal
In case if the defendant does not agree to a plea agreement, the case goes to trial. During trial, the defense is allowed to make the opening statement. Here, the defense is permitted to cross-examine and interrogate the prosecution witnesses. The defense may choose to present or not present any defense witnesses. During the closing statement, the defense can state reasons to show how the prosecution did not prove the case beyond any reasonable doubt. If the accused is convicted, then the defense attorney can represent the defendant during the sentence hearing.
That was some information about the duties and responsibilities of a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. For more info on the same, refer legal resources available online.Google+