Criminal defense attorneys take on difficult, demanding cases. Learn more about the job of criminal defense attorneys.
The criminal defense attorney deals with various criminal cases. These include violent domestic crimes, drug offenses, DUI or driving under the influence of alcohol, sex transgressions, fraud, misappropriation, and theft.
Scope of Practice
Criminal defense lawyers represent defendants or those accused of felonies in US Federal, State and Appellate courts. This particular attorney’s field of practice is comprised of court proceedings; hearing on bail bonds; revocation for probation or parole; plea bargaining; filing of appeals; and, post-conviction resolutions. As such, the criminal defense attorney needs to perform these tasks:
Conduct a thorough investigation of the case.
Interview all witnesses.
Come up with research on the case together with the statutes, criminal codes and procedural laws.
Build a very good defense strategy.
Hold negotiations with the prosecution regarding possible plea bargain for lesser charges.
Prepare, file and argue or make a case for motions to dismiss or suppress.
Represent the defendant during all hearings.
Procedural law is also known as Adjective law. It makes up rules that govern the court hearing and determines the outcome in criminal or civil lawsuits as well as administrative proceedings or measures. On the other hand, Motion to Dismiss is a formal request filed with the court to dismiss the case due to settlement between two parties, voluntary retraction of plaintiff, and procedural faults like failure to make a claim or lack of jurisdiction. Motion to Suppress is filed by the defendant in written form to the judge that specific evidence is ruled out by the judge and jury during litigation.
Primary Line of Defense
The defendant’s main life of defense is the criminal defense attorney. Henceforth, this lawyer must take all the necessary steps to protect and assist the accused. This should be during the preliminary stage of the case and heading to the final phase of the trial. Defense lawyers must notify defendants of their rights from the very beginning. One of the basic rights is the Right to Remain Silent.
In the United States, this Miranda Warning is intended to protect an individual who is being questioned by the police or undergoing court trial. This helps the defendant avoid making statements that may be self-incriminating. It can possibly include the condition that adverse remarks or conclusions cannot be issued by the court since the accused declined to answer questions prior to or during the hearing.
The criminal defense attorney also has the capability to petition for bail or temporary release of the defendant. He or she can negotiate with the prosecution lawyer for possible dropping or reduction of charges. Defense counsels must advice their clients regarding strategies and arguments during hearings.
Part of this important advice includes entering pleas, accepting plea agreements, waiving jury trials, and whether defendants must testify on their behalf. The criminal defense attorney can determine witnesses to summon and the manner of cross-examination. Likewise, this lawyer can decide jurors who may be biased against the accused and have then removed from the panel of jurors.