Five Key Roles Of A Criminal Defense Attorney

The criminal judicial system is complicated and overwhelming. But, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the various stages of the justice system. Including serving as your guide, criminal defense attorneys take on many roles.

1. Defender

The question of a person's guilt and the attorney's knowledge of that guilt often pops up. But, it's crucial to understand that an attorney's goal is to protect your rights – whether you're guilty or not.

If you're accused of a crime, your defense attorney will keep everyone from trampling on your rights. This includes the judge, opposing lawyers and anyone in the legal system. For example, your attorney will advise you when police officers question you and will represent you at your arraignment.

2. Advisor

Your criminal defense attorney's job is to review the evidence against you, and then tell you where you stand. For example, if there's significant evidence against you, your attorney will talk to you about your next steps. This might include a discussion about a plea bargain.

If your case goes to court, your criminal defense attorney will try to show weaknesses in the prosecutor's case. In other words, your attorney makes sure the prosecutor proves his or her case before the court can enter or accept a plea against you.

3. Researcher

Despite what you might see on TV, no single attorney remembers every law ever written. Attorneys gain extensive knowledge about various laws through years of study and experience. But, even with their extensive knowledge, lawyers often conduct research about their cases and applicable laws.

They also review the judge's philosophy and the prosecutor's experience. This is to make sure they provide you with the best possible defense. Also, your lawyer might research your specific situation. This includes finding the facts about your case and your contribution to the alleged crime.

4. Confidant and Counselor

If you're accused, you and your family might be frightened, confused, and worried. You'll likely have countless questions, and your attorney's job is to give you answers. Being honest with your attorney will get you the best answers and a solid defense.

5. Negotiator

TV land often portrays criminal defense attorneys as cutthroat individuals who outwit prosecutors. These savvy TV lawyers often use charm, secret knowledge of the situation and special rapport with the judge to win cases. Yelling "objection" in exasperation also seems to help.

The truth is, lawyers resolve most criminal cases outside of court, according to the American Bar Association. It's true that criminal defense attorneys sometimes outsmart prosecutors. But, they often work in partnership with the opposing counsel to resolve cases. So, your attorney might spend more time negotiating with the prosecutor, and less time in a courtroom charming jurors and impressing judges.

Call an experienced criminal defense attorney such as Eric Schurman, Attorney at Law if you're accused of a crime. This will give you the best possible chance to lessen your sentence or have the charges dropped.