What Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do

by lawfirm on November 19, 2012

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Are you charged with a criminal case? Facing criminal charges may have serious consequences and this is something that you must not take lightly. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer is absolutely important when you are faced with such a situation. If you are wondering how the criminal defense lawyer would help you, you would need to learn about what these lawyers are and what they do.

Defense lawyers are attorneys that represent the accused party in the various legal matters and even in the court of law. If you are the accused party, you would be known as the defendant and since these lawyers work for the defendants, they are called defense lawyers.

The defense lawyers generally begin their careers as prosecutors and they work for the state. The prosecutor, in that case, is an agent working for the state. Their interest lies in helping the victim. However, these lawyers do not represent the victims directly. Criminal proceedings generally have a prosecutor and no plaintiff. So there is not plaintiff to bring the case and it is a public agency that brings the charges against the defendant. In case if the accused is not able to afford a private lawyer, the state will assign a lawyer who will represent the defendant in the court of law. Though, the defense lawyers that are appointed by the state are talented, defendants feel more confident with a private attorney. That is why those who can afford it always choose to go for the private defense attorneys.

In criminal proceedings, the primary role of the defense lawyer is vigorously defending his/her clients. The defense lawyers will use the various aspects of law for casting doubt on the case of the prosecution. The prosecutor is responsible for convincing the jury that the accused is indeed guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”. The defense lawyer, however, does not need to prove that his/her client is innocent. This is because, as per law, the accused is never guilty until he/she is proven to be so. However, if there are evidences that are capable of exonerating the defendant, it would be the responsibility of the defense lawyer to present those evidences at court.

Though, the defense lawyer is obligated to defend his/her client in a vigorous manner, there are some limitations that must be followed. The lawyer cannot place witnesses on the stand for perpetrating lies and neither can he knowingly lie in the court of law. For this reason, in most of the high profile cases, the defense lawyers do not want to know if their client is indeed guilty. Many of the defense attorneys feel that the defense strategy can be more flexible as long as they do not have the absolute knowledge of the innocence or guilt of their clients.

Conversely, in some particular cases, the knowledge of the truth may help the criminal lawyer to mak.e strategize and present the particular case in the best light possible. This will often help in mitigating the punishments in case if the defendant is proven guilty.

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