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What are the different roles that criminal defense lawyers have to play?

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For the common man, laws of any kind are neither easy to understand or interpret even though sometimes it may appear that by reading the text it could be quite understandable. Interpreting laws by its literary meaning does as good as not understanding the law at all. That makes it imperative to hire a qualified lawyer to make any legal representation on your behalf regardless of the nature of the case. More so if someone is facing criminal charges because criminal laws are so unique that to defend your case, you must hire someone like Tucson Criminal Defense Attorney Elias Damianakos.

The lawyer will try to ensure that the accused person does not lose his or her liberty as the threat of spending time in prison looms large. Hiring criminal lawyers is expensive. If you are unable to hire a criminal defense attorney, then you can approach the court with a request of providing an attorney free of cost. The court-appointed lawyer will work in the same way as a private lawyer but to avail the services, one must convince the court about their financial inability to hire a lawyer. If convinced about the defendant's financial position, the court would agree to provide a government paid attorney, also known as a public defender.

The consequences of a criminal record

Regardless the type of charges brought against a person, criminal charges are serious because even if you escape without penalties, it leaves a black spot on your personal record and can have tremendous adverse effects on your life. If convicted, things can be worse because it will show up in your criminal record that can become a blemish for your lifetime. It can severely damage relationships, become an impediment for future employment, and hurt your reputation that can have deeper social implications. Even, you may lose some rights and privileges like the right to voting.

It is possible to expunge or seal the criminal record depending on the defendant's interaction with the law and the nature of the conviction. Here only a criminal defense attorney can help you.

Where and how to find criminal defense lawyers?

Private criminal defense lawyers often work for some law firms. Some other lawyers set up an independent business and maintain a legal office that they man on their own by hiring some staff for running the office. You can find their contacts on the internet and read reviews about them to judge their abilities and reputation or can obtain references from friends, family, and acquaintances about them. Although the court typically appoints a lawyer enlisted with the court, in some cases, it can also appoint a private lawyer to take up some particular case.

Before appointing an attorney, you should consult a few attorneys and interview them just in the way you would do when hiring a person for a job. The initial consultations are free, and in the process of talking to many attorneys, you gather clearer insights about the prospects of the case. The interactions will help you to know how experienced the attorney is in the specific legal matter. You can also find out their knowledge about the legal procedures and experience in dealing with the police as well as their working relationship with judges, prosecutors, and staff involved in the case.

Why are criminal defense lawyers special?

Criminal cases can be of various types, and no two cases are the same. Criminal defense lawyers have the training to identify the uniqueness of the case by quickly picking up the specific portions of each case and work for making light the charges brought against the accused. The best lawyers can spot certain factors and arguments that could mitigate or even completely negate the potential crime. To protect your rights you must rely on the skills of criminal defense lawyers.

The role of criminal defense lawyers

To understand better why you need a criminal defense lawyer to handle your case, you must first know about the role they play. The criminal defense lawyer fulfills not one but many roles. It includes - cross-examining the prosecution's witnesses, calling witnesses in your defense and working with the prosecutor for negotiating a plea bargain. And even if you are found guilty and face conviction, the lawyer will figure out a good sentencing program that suits the situation. The lawyer takes complete responsibility of defending the accused person charged with a crime. He or she will always speak on the client's behalf to see how best they can help.

Interview with client

The criminal defense lawyer you appoint will interact with the defendant to gather all information about the case to understand it comprehensively. The lawyer would be interested in collecting as many details a possible that should help to understand the finer nuances of the case which often provide valuable leads about it. The lengthy discussions revolve around answering the questions the lawyer asks that help him or her to learn about strengths, weaknesses, and possible defenses about the case. It is vital that the defendant discloses all the facts to the lawyer. Any suppression of facts can be damaging for the defendant as it could prevent the lawyer from analyzing the case in the right perspective.

Case investigation

Besides questioning the defendant extensively about the case, the lawyer will investigate the case further to determine ways of acquitting the defendant, which is the ultimate goal. The lawyer will even question the police to understand the procedures they followed when dealing with the case. To gather more information about the case, the lawyer will also talk to the witnesses who can provide some more details about the case. He or she will carefully scrutinize all information and sort out the most critical pieces of information that can help to build a strong defense for the case. Sometimes some cases require expert witnesses. The lawyer will interact with them to gather an idea about the testimony that he or she may provide together with the evidence that can be presented.

Evidence analysis

The knowledge of the lawyer not only about the legal process but his or her overall knowledge about varied topics and subjects in different areas of life plays a critical role in the analysis of evidence. The lawyer will critically study the theories of the case along with the facts. If required, the lawyer might test the evidence independently. Going a step ahead, the lawyer may examine the evidence to determine if any legal theories can become a tool to lighten the conviction faced by the client.

Jury selection

The criminal defense lawyer plays an active role in jury selection by assisting the process. They can choose jurors who can be helpful for their case and remove any juror who holds a bias towards their clients. Even if the lawyer feels bad about any juror, he can seek his or her removal. Attorneys also participate in framing juror questions that determine which juror selection. During the process of appointing juror, the attorney may oppose the appointment but must show that the juror has an intimate relation to the case or holds a bias against the client.

Plea bargaining

Talking about the status of the case and negotiating with the prosecutor about any specific plea bargain is the responsibility of criminal defense lawyers. A plea bargain is an agreement between the defendant and a prosecutor in which the former agrees to plead guilty or no contest. In exchange, the prosecutor may agree - to give up one or some charges, reduce the seriousness of a charge or recommend a specific sentence to the judge that is acceptable to the defendant.   Plea bargains have almost the same outcome that can happen from the trial, but it cuts short the lengthy process and speeds it up as case settlement happens faster.

Trial participation

When participating in the trial, it is the responsibility of criminal defense lawyers to examine the witnesses, cross-examine the prosecutor's or state's witnesses. They must do whatever necessary to convince the jury that there has been a lapse on the part of the prosecution to meet its burden of proof.

Sentencing

If the defendant is sentenced either due to conviction by the judge or jury or by accepting a plea bargain the criminal then during the sentencing phase, the defense lawyer can represent the defendant. The lawyer can try to convince the judge or jury to reduce the time that the defendant spends in prison and look for possible alternatives to a jail term.

Criminal defense lawyers must stay in close touch with the client and keep him or her abreast of the developments in the case while maintaining complete confidentiality about their interactions. Transparent communication ensures that the client is aware of the possible outcome of the case.