The criminal justice system entitles any individual charged with a crime to receive a fair trial before a judge or a jury. Both sides of a criminal case- the defense and the prosecution are represented by two lawyers or two groups of lawyers. Criminal defense lawyers have a number of duties and responsibilities as part of their work. Be it a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles or Michigan, he/she is responsible for proving that the accused is innocent and thus acquitting all charges against him. Given are some of the duties of a defense lawyer.
Criminal defense attorneys are obligated to their clients even outside the courtroom. Individuals can be driven to a state of irrational fear when charged with misdemeanor or felony. They will not be able to think reasonably about their situation and the best course of action in such a state of mind. A defense lawyer is responsible for providing the defendant with the right advice if the prosecution offers a plea-bargain and if it would be best to accept it or not.
Criminal defense lawyers have the right to question witnesses about the events of the case within limits during the trial as well as before it. The criminal justice system consists of three types of witnesses- lay witnesses, character witnesses and expert witnesses. Lay witnesses are witnesses who were present at the scene of crime; character witnesses are people associated with the defendant or people who knew the defendant and expert witnesses are people who verify the technical facts of a case. Criminal defense attorneys also try to provide an alibi for the accused. An alibi is a type of defense that proves that the defendant could not have committed the crime by showing that he was elsewhere at the time of crime.
Arguing the case
During trial, the defendant’s case is presented first by an opening statement by the criminal defense lawyer. The opening statement should be such that it gives the court and the presiding jury an outline of the case. It is also of utmost importance because of the emotional effect that it has on the jury. Defense lawyers are also allowed to cross examine the prosecution to confirm the authenticity of information that were obtained outside of the court so as to help the jury reach the right decision knowing all the relevant facts. If the questioning by any party is in any way unfair or flawed, both sides have the right to raise objections to the opposing counsel’s questioning. Defense lawyers end the trial by making a closing statement that sums up the facts of the case.
The above are some of the duties of a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles or any other state for that matter. If you find yourself faced with criminal charges, avail the services of an experienced attorney who can prove your innocence.Google+