Innocent Until Proven Guilty – The Role of the Defense Lawyer in a Criminal Trial

Criminal defense is a confusing and demanding aspect of the law that requires strong skills and expertise to protect the defendant’s constitutional rights.

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Although the US justice system allows you to defend yourself, it’s inadvisable to do so. According to one criminal defense attorney, you deserve to be represented by a lawyer that’s on your side. Click here to read the full post.

Facing criminal charges impacts your life, and you may end up getting a hefty fine or even spending time in prison. It’s vital to seek the legal guidance of a defense attorney to avoid this. The problem is that most people don’t know what the actual responsibilities of these lawyers are.

The following is a quick explanation of the role and responsibilities of a defense attorney.

Case Assessment and Collecting Information

The lawyer’s priority is to familiarize himself with all the details of your case thoroughly. He’ll interview both the state’s and accused’s witnesses and analyze police reports and crime scenes. Regardless of your guilt or innocence, your attorney must handle your case to the best of his ability.

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He needs to determine the odds of your acquittal or conviction and protect any collected evidence from being manipulated. With all of this in place, he’ll begin to plan your defense strategy. 

Lawyer’s Expertise

It’s vital to appoint a defense attorney that’s knowledgeable about the laws and appeals needed to protect your best interest. Your attorney has to have extensive knowledge of your rights and emphasize this when dealing with the prosecution. It should also be his priority to keep you updated about the progress of your case.

Case Analysis and Stressful Situations

Your attorney must be capable of analyzing and judging the prosecution’s case. He must also be able to identify loopholes and introduce intelligent strategies to support your argument. This may get your charges lowered and, in some instances, even dismissed.

Your attorney should be devoted to his duties and be willing to attend unexpected proceedings and situations at all times. To do this, he must be capable of dealing with stressful situations.

Plea Bargains

In many cases, the prosecution will contact your lawyer to make an offer for a plea bargain. This means that you plead guilty to a lesser crime to receive a reduced sentence. Your defense attorney’s role in this is to determine whether it’s in your best interest to accept the deal.

Going to Trial

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Your attorney’s priority is to assess how each prospective juror will react toward you and the charges you face. It’s his priority and counts in your favor if he can assemble a jury that’ll be sympathetic to your case. This is done by questioning and rejecting or approving jurors, a process referred to as ‘voir dire.’

With that done, the trial will commence. During this procedure, your lawyer is responsible for presenting your case according to the rules of court to get you exonerated.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

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It’s necessary to be aware of your defense lawyer’s roles and responsibilities to keep track of his progress. Because of the critical role he plays in your case and to get a fair judgment, it’s vital to ensure that your attorney is committed to his duties. Appointing a weak councilor is worse than defending yourself.