Public defender or criminal lawyer or criminal defense lawyer plays a crucial role in defending individuals who are suspected to have committed a crime. Such lawyers handle varied crime cases such as sex crimes, DUI crimes, domestic violence crimes, drug crimes, assault and battery crimes, fraud, embezzlement, and theft. Here are some daily processes a criminal defense lawyer takes care of.
Job Description – Criminal defense lawyer defends the client who is charged with committing a crime. The client is represented in federal, state, and appellate court. Lawyer would handle matters related to plea bargains, revocation hearings, bail bond hearings, trial, post-conviction, and appeal. Job responsibilities of a criminal defense lawyer include –
Building defense and case strategizing
Research statutes, case law, procedural law and crime code
Investigate interview witnesses
Negotiate with prosecution for less harsh sentence
Advocating for defendant during all the trials
Drafting and filing appeals along with arguing on them in the court of law
Drafting, filing, and arguing the motions to dismiss and suppress
Mandatory skills of a criminal defense lawyer include written advocacy and oral skills. It is because in winning the case, the lawyer will need to argue with the opposition and persuade the members of jury. Other necessary skills of the defense lawyer include research the case and investigating for any loopholes and points that can favor the client. Strong analytical skills and power of creative thinking form the backbone of a lawyer where he shows proficiency in analyzing the laws associated with the case, developing strategy, and litigate high complexity cases.
Apart from these skills, a good criminal defense lawyer must be thorough in local, federal, and state rules along with evidentiary laws, and court procedures. He should have good connections with the local judges so that getting through the legal channel becomes more efficient and fruitful.
Practice – There are criminal defense lawyers who work solo or in a firm. Then there are some criminal lawyers who play the role of public defenders or service for non-profit agencies. These lawyers invest most of their day researching and investigating. They often meet clients at prisons, hospitals, courthouse, and various other places. If the lawyer has his work based on national practice, he may have to spend time travelling.
Things to note – Criminal lawyers should be able to understand the hidden costs of pleading guilty. For example, if the person is found guilty of charge, he/she has a lifetime of criminal record that can taint not only the personal but the professional image as well.
The lawyer to get the best results in the case, requires to spend more time with the test subject. With proper communication, the client can tell the in and out of the happenings of the case. It is imperative for the client to be honest with the lawyer to escape harsher punishments. To be honest with the lawyer and not to bring any surprises is important so that lawyer can prepare to overcome those hurdles and think of a way out.