What Are the Responsibilities of a Well Organized Criminal Defense Lawyer?

by michael on May 15, 2017

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Based on law in Florida & generally.

If you are facing criminal charges for the first time, it can be a very confusing process. You may not understand everything that is going on and you are likely worried about what you can expect in the future. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer is an essential starting point, but it also helps to know what exactly they will be doing to defend your case.

Interviewing the Defendant

The first thing a criminal defense lawyer will do is schedule an appointment so that they can learn about your case and you as a person. You’ll need to be completely honest with your lawyer throughout the entire process. Remember, they have client confidentiality rules so you can feel free to be honest and tell them everything that occurred.

This interview is the first step they will take in building your defense. They’re going to want to know what happened leading to the arrest, how you were arrested and whether or not you are actually guilty of committing the crime you are charged with. They’re also going to want to ask you about potential witnesses and you’ll need to make sure you give them all the information they need.

The reason they need all of this information is because in the state of Florida, the burden of proof rests with the state. That means that they need to present a case against you that will show you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s the job of your defense lawyer to build a case that will cast doubt on your actual guilt.

Gathering Witnesses and Information

The next step in the process is going to be interviewing witnesses for the defense. These are the people who are going to stand up for you in a court of law and present their information for your case. Your lawyer will need to interview these witnesses for a variety of reasons.

First, they need to see if they are going to be a reliable witness, someone the court will believe. If they aren’t, there is no point in calling them to the stand. Next, they’re going to make sure that their account of the event in question is believable and can be corroborated. Lastly, they’re going to use the information they get to help build your case and get all of the information they need to defend you.

Finding the Best Solution for the Defendant

Once your lawyer has all of this information in place, they may have some recommendations for you to help your situation. For example, if you have been charged with domestic violence, they may recommend that you attend anger management classes before your court date. This proves to the court that you are taking the charge seriously and taking action on your own to prevent the problem from happening again.

Taking proactive action often means that you are not perceived as a big risk to society and your chances of offending again in the future are small. This often convinces the court to be lenient in their sentencing and can mean the difference between getting probation and facing jail time.

Pleading Down Charges

Another tactic your lawyer may try will be to plead down the charges you are facing. This means that you plead guilty to a lesser charge that has a lesser penalty. For example, if you are facing a DUI charge, you could plead down to reckless driving. In many cases, there is the opportunity to plead to a lesser charge and if it is available, your lawyer will probably counsel you to take the opportunity.

They may also be able to plead down felony charges to a misdemeanor, which will definitely help you in the future. It can be difficult to get a job if you have a felony on your record, but misdemeanors are generally not perceived to be as serious.

With the right lawyer defending your case, your future will be a whole lot brighter. The key is finding the right person to defend you and being completely honest to allow them to build the best possible defense in your favor.

Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer questions throughout the process if you don’t understand something. They are here to help you through this difficult point in your life and get you headed down a better road for your future.

About the Author
Michael D. Leader is a criminal lawyer with Fort Lauderdale law firm Leader & Leader P.A. Specializing in all forms of criminal law, Michael Leader and partner George Leader offer years of legal experience and a commitment to ethics.

Michael D. Leader is a criminal lawyer with Fort Lauderdale law firm Leader & Leader P.A. Specializing in all forms of criminal law, Michael Leader and partner George Leader offer years of legal experience and a commitment to ethics.

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