The Job of Defending the Criminal is a Challenge
Sep 30, 2008
The defendant is on the wrong side of the law and needs a criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney will be appointed, as it’s the defendant’s constitutional right.
A defendant needs to give some thought to how to best use his or her criminal defense attorney’s services. Just because one is appointed doesn’t mean the defendant doesn’t still have to provide some instruction as to how the case should proceed.
The criminal defense attorney needs to know criminal law inside out and be in the trenches daily. The more experience they have, the better it is in the long run. Daily dealing in criminal courts mean they know the ropes.
It’s ideal if the criminal defense lawyer knows the prosecutors and Judges. This means the lawyer is able to discuss with their client in advance what type of a plea bargain might work. Other insider tips like whether the Judge maxs out sentences come in handy.
Knowing what to expect down the road will gives enough information to decide whether to settle, plead out early or dig in and hold on for a jury trial. The attorney is the one who sends investigators to the scene of the crime and handles all the reports.
Often there are things discovered by an independent third party that were missed by the police or they may be hiding. It’s happened, and a criminal defense lawyer is responsible for leaving no stone unturned.
Witness prep is another duty a criminal defense lawyer tackles. S/he coaches favorable witnesses on how to handle being questioned in court. The witnesses need to come across as credible and reliable.
The criminal defense lawyer will also prepare the defendant for court. Telling them to make the story direct and clear. Don’t wander all over trying to explain things, and stick to what the attorney says will work. This is the bird’s eye viewpoint of the case the lawyer wants the jury to see.
Depending on the facts of the case and how things shape up, the criminal defense lawyer will draft motions for the Judge to rule on. These could include a motion to dismiss the case for lack of evidence or to reduce charges etc. They also write opening and closing remarks to the jury.
The only way a criminal defense lawyer may assist a defendant is if the defendant works with him or her. There has to be teamwork to ensure justice is done.