If you have been charged with a crime then you need to hire a criminal lawyer to represent you. But first you need to know who a criminal lawyer is and what duties he performs in defending his or her clients. A criminal lawyer is the professional who will be representing you when you go to court. While criminal lawyers spend some of their time in court they spend even more time out of court doing the research that is required for their clients. These lawyers are sometimes referred to as criminal defense attorneys. One way to think of these kinds of attorneys is as advocates for the defendants that they represent. It is the job of these legal professionals to protect the rights of their clients and to obtain the most successful outcome possible regardless of whether the lawyer believes in the innocence or guilt of the client.
As an advocate of the defendant the attorney acts as a liaison between the individual who has been accused in a criminal case and the prosecution. The two lawyers in the case may discuss a plea bargain. If an offer is on the table then the criminal lawyer will bring this to his or her client’s attention and will explain it and then discuss the merits of it. The criminal defense attorney will advise the client as to whether it is a good deal or not. The lawyer will work with the prosecuting lawyer to negotiate a deal that will be the absolute best for the client.
You need to look for a criminal lawyers who is experienced and qualified. You need to find one who is professionally on good terms with the prosecuting attorneys in the area and is familiar with local customs such as jail time, typical fines and how to come up with a plea deal that will be acceptable to both the defense and the prosecution. A defense lawyer who is used to working with prosecutors as well as judges will have dealt with plenty of cases in the past that are similar to yours. He or she will therefore be in an excellent position to assess whether a plea deal that has been offered is in your best interests to accept or to decline.
Sometimes the legwork involved in a criminal case is broad and far reaching and the lawyer working the case must bring in other people to help out. These individuals are known as investigators and as the name implies, they do their part to investigate the case and help to build a strong defense.
Investigators communicate with witnesses and are often the ones that interview them to get their statements and then they must take the time to verify the information they have been supplied with. Expert witnesses who are called to testify on behalf of a defendant at court proceedings are often located and retained by the investigators who have been hired to be a part of the criminal lawyer’s team. The prosecutor is likely to have his /her own share of investigators and the same must be said for the defense. A great deal of work is involved in building a strong case for a defendant.
If a plea bargain is not reached and the case goes to trial then in some instances the criminal defense attorney may have some say in selecting the members of a jury. He or she will attempt to choose people who might look upon the defendant in a more favorable light.