When mounting a legal defense if you’ve been accused of a crime, you are likely wondering who will defend you in a court of law. A criminal defense attorney can be a viable option when looking for legal counsel. Learning the role of a criminal lawyer in your case can help you determine when it’s necessary to bring on this specialized type of legal defense.
What is a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Criminal defense attorneys are legal representatives who research, investigate, and negotiate deals on behalf of clients who have been charged with a crime. As a defense attorney, their job is to represent the defendant, as opposed to a prosecutor who represents a plaintiff.
Criminal law encompasses behavior that is conducted in a way that could be perceived as threatening, harmful, or endangering to the property, health, or safety of a person or people.
Difference Between a Lawyer and Criminal Defense Attorney
When looking at the different types of legal defense that exist, many people get confused regarding the difference between a lawyer and criminal defense lawyer. While a standard lawyer holds a degree in law and holds a variety of responsibilities in the legal system, their focus is on general law.
A criminal defense attorney is a lawyer who specializes in criminal law and practices on crime cases. This specialty allows for a great depth of knowledge surrounding crimes and helps ensure that a criminal defense attorney has added experience that a generic lawyer may not have. For example, a Colorado lawyer may have an impeccable understanding of the Colorado legal system, but not the nuances of criminal law in the state.
What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?
Beyond having a large breadth of knowledge regarding criminal law, a criminal defense attorney will focus on protecting the rights of defendants charged with criminal acts. This involves helping them build a defense that can reduce the amount of consequences they may face due to their charges.
In some cases, criminal defense attorneys will specialize in an even more specific subset of criminal law, such as drug crimes or sex crimes. However, all criminal defense attorneys will use investigative abilities to help guide the defendant towards a resolution. In the event a person is convicted, criminal defense attorneys are also capable of handling matters of appeals.
- The criminal defense lawyer will analyze the evidence given by the prosecution
- The criminal defense lawyer will discuss the case with the defendant and get their side
- The criminal defense lawyer will then represent the defendant in court
- The criminal defense lawyer will guide the plea deal process if applicable
- The criminal defense lawyer will handle all interviewing and cross-examining of witnesses involved in the case
What Legal Matters Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Assist With?
While criminal defense attorneys specialize in representing defendants charged with criminal acts, the term is so broad that it doesn’t help a person narrow down if a criminal defense attorney is right for them. Below are some of the most common type of criminal charges a criminal defense attorney can assist with:
- Theft and fraud crimes
- Homicide or murder charges
- Weapons violations
- Domestic violence
- DUI defenses
- Sex crimes
- Certain computer crimes
Given that some criminal charges can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, a criminal defense attorney may represent both types.
How to Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney
Learning how to choose an effective lawyer for your case can seem difficult on the surface. Breaking down the process of choosing a criminal defense attorney for your case can help you make the right decision:
- Make sure the lawyer you’re considering specializes in criminal law
- Choose someone who has experience in the location you are being charged
- Ask for referrals to verify the history of the attorney
- Check reputable sources to learn about the attorney
- Inquire as to what the attorney’s fee structure looks like
- Ensure your attorney is open minded and ready to hear your side to the case
By following the above steps, you can narrow down your search for a criminal defense attorney who can help you see the light of day.
Find Legal Representation Today
When charged with a crime, regardless of guilt or innocence, hiring an effective criminal defense lawyer can help you reduce the charges you face. Trust a legal professional to research and investigate matters surrounding the case on your behalf so that you have the best chance at avoiding jailtime.