Have you ever hired a lawyer before? It's easy to assume that attorneys are mostly there to defend people in a court of law after they've been accused of a crime. Still, the truth is that lawyers have many specialties. Many individuals work with attorneys to create a will or set up a prenuptial agreement.
So, when you are accused of a crime, you'll want to find the right kind of attorney with the right type of experience to help you. These lawyers are called criminal defense attorneys or lawyers.
While most people don't assume they'll need a criminal defense attorney, these lawyers serve a vital role. Everyone has the right to a lawyer whether they're guilty or innocent of a crime. But, what exactly does a criminal defense attorney do? Are they only there to protect criminals?
There are many misconceptions about criminal defense lawyers and their role in the criminal justice system.
Here are some of the basics everyone should know.
What Is The Role Of A Criminal Defense Lawyer?
On the one hand, criminal trials are the area of law most people imagine when hearing about attorneys. On the other hand, many people have misconceptions about what these attorneys do because of portrayals in the media.
Simply put, a criminal justice attorney is there to protect the rights of a person who has been accused of a crime. Whether the person is guilty of the crime or innocent, they have a right to a fair trial, and a fair trial means having a competent attorney to represent the accused.
If I'm Accused Of A Crime, Do I Have To Have An Attorney?
While people accused of crimes do have a right to an attorney, they do not have to exercise this right. It's possible, and not that uncommon, for people to represent themselves in court. However, this is rarely advisable as the average person doesn't have knowledge of the law like an attorney does.
It's also worth noting that many criminal cases do not go to trial at all. Instead, a lawyer can assist the accused with a plea deal or a different kind of settlement, depending on the crime and many other factors.
Responsibilities And Obligations Of Criminal Defense Attorneys
In an ideal world, the criminal justice system would always be fair. But, even though intentional safeguards are set up to ensure equality and justice, they aren't foolproof. After someone is accused of or arrested for a crime, an attorney ensures their client's rights are upheld and respected.
Some of the specific duties of a criminal defense lawyer include the following:
- Teaching the client about their legal rights.
- Ensuring that police and prosecutors aren't abusing the rights of the accused or making errors when trying the cast.
- Working to make sure the client receives respect and objectivity through the entire legal case.
The defense attorney is also there to help the client navigate the legal system, mainly because it can be complex. A good attorney will assist the client in making good choices regarding plea deals or agreements. They will also collect evidence and try the case in court when necessary.
Criminal Defense Attorneys: An Important Role
While it can be easy to assume that criminal defense attorneys are only there to protect criminals, this isn't the case. They are there to ensure any person accused of a crime has their rights upheld. And, while this doesn't always happen, as attorneys can be flawed and make mistakes, they still play a vital role in the system.