Tag Archives: Criminal defense lawyers

Duties Of A Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles

        Criminal defense attorney and his duties

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.

Advisory duties

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.

Information gathering

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

Criminal defense lawyers

        Responsibilities of a criminal defense attorney

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.

Some Info About Criminal Defense Lawyers

Criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles

        Criminal defense lawyers as public defenders

A criminal defense attorney is the one who represents individuals charged with criminal cases. These lawyers generally work on their own as solo practitioners or they may also work as public defenders. Even though any lawyer can represent a defendant in court, a criminal defense lawyer is one who can offer his clients the experience gained through the daily practice of criminal defense law.

Qualifications of a criminal defense lawyer

To practice as a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles or San Francisco or any other state for that matter, an individual should have graduated from an American Bar Association accredited law school and should have qualified their state’s bar exam. Clearing the bar exam makes a lawyer eligible to practice not just in state courts, but federal courts as well.

Any lawyer can take up a criminal defense case, but criminal defense lawyers are people with added qualifications. Majority of the criminal lawyers are people who had worked in a state or federal prosecutor’s office prior to starting defense practice. Others may have previously worked as public defenders before starting their private practice. Public defenders have the advantage of being exposed to all kinds of cases and therefore gain a lot of experience.

Private criminal defense lawyers

A large number of criminal defense attorneys prefer to practice on their own or along with one or two partners. Be it a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles or Massachusetts, they usually run a general practice and will take up any kind of criminal case. Of late, criminal defense attorneys have started specializing in particular areas such as drug cases, driving under the influence cases and other major felonies like murder or robbery.

A few criminal defense attorneys also choose to work for huge law firms that work for commercial and business clients. Corporate clients charged for white collar crimes against them like money laundering and fraud are represented by these lawyers.

Criminal defense lawyers

      Private criminal defense attorneys

Public defenders

Public defenders are people who represent individuals who cannot afford their own lawyer. They are paid by the state, country or federal jurisdiction to operate out of a public defender office. Despite their huge caseloads, public defenders are extremely competent lawyers. Once the judge orders for a public defendant, it is up to the supervising attorney to assign the case within the office.

That was some information on criminal defense lawyers. For more information on the same, refer online legal resources.