What Is a Criminal Defense Lawyer? What Cases Do They Handle?

There are millions of arrests every year across the country. Some of these people individuals will be convicted of criminal activity, others will be proven innocent. A wide variety of sentences and punishments will be handed out via the justice system.

There is no one more important to this process than the criminal defense lawyer. What is a criminal defense lawyer? 

For most, it’s their first line of defense against the punishments and penalties one might face thanks to the criminal charges brought against them. How does a criminal defense lawyer work and what kind of assistance can they bring to those in need of legal help?

Read on and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

The Importance of a Criminal Defense Attorney

For many, the moment they get arrested can be one of the scariest experiences of their life. Depending on what charges they face, the case at hand has the potential to change the course of their lives completely.

They might be facing financially ruinous fines, time behind bars, or additions to their record that will make it hard to find employment and continue their lives. It can be all-important for those facing charges to prove their innocence or find an angle to mitigate the punishments they might face.

However, criminal law is hugely complicated. Laws vary from state to state and can take years of studies to become truly familiar with. As such, an individual charged would have a very difficult time building their own case and presenting it in a court of law.

That’s where criminal defense lawyers come in. With years of experience in the area of criminal law, these professionals know how to step in and make the strongest case possible for you. They’re deeply familiar with the legal process, it’s requirements, and what kind of approach is going to be best for one’s final outcome.

While it is technically legal for someone to represent themselves in a court of law, there’s nothing like having an experienced professional advocate for you.

What kind of things does a criminal defense attorney do once brought onto a case?

Early Stages of a Case

An attorney does a lot of their important work in the earliest stages of a case. Sometimes, if a person has reason to believe they might be charged or arrested soon, they might even hire an attorney before these charges are brought forward.

In this situation, an attorney would help their client learn how to best handle questions from the authorities. They would advise their client how not to incriminate themselves and how to present themselves in the best light.

If a client is put behind bars, an attorney can argue for their release on bail. If a bail amount is already given, an attorney may be able to negotiate the bail amount down to a more reasonable number.

Once charges are brought forward, the investigation portion of a case begins.

This is where an attorney begins to collect as much information about the case and the arrest as possible. This includes collecting and organizing evidence, speaking to witnesses, and thoroughly checking if police behavior was within legal limits during your arrest.

In some cases, an attorney may be able to prove that the police acted in an illegal fashion. In this situation, they could get your case thrown out of court. 

Even if this isn’t possible, an attorney will take this time to look through mountains of evidence and decide what avenue is best to go forward with for your case.

Going To Trial with a Criminal Defense Attorney

Leading up to your court date, a criminal defense attorney will ensure that they are keeping on top of your case. They will make sure all paperwork is filed properly and sent in prior to the required legal deadlines.

They will also make sure you’re aware of when you need to appear somewhere. They will make sure you don’t miss an important date and throw your case into jeopardy.

If you and your attorney do think that you will be found guilty, they can help you to put in a plea bargain to the court. A plea bargain is an attempt by the defense to negotiate the specifics of one’s sentencing. This strategy commits to the idea of reducing the punishment that one might face due to their charges.

If your attorney thinks you can fight the charges, you will proceed fully through the court process. An attorney will be there in person with a client throughout this experience, arguing your case to the judge and jury.

They will present an opening statement, question witnesses, and argue for the degree to which you should be found innocent. They will also cross-examine witnesses brought forward from the state and try to prove that the prosecution does not have a case against their client.

In a situation where unwanted sentencing is given, an attorney can help their client through the appeals process. They can try once more to get a more lenient sentence for their client. 

What is a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

What is a criminal defense lawyer? If you’re facing some trouble with state or federal law, it can be all-important to know the answer to this question.

A criminal defense lawyer can be your main lifeline during the difficult process of facing criminal charges. The above information explains just how much they can help.

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