Criminal Defense Lawyers
A criminal defense lawyer defends a criminal defendant against criminal charges, ranging from a simple misdemeanor such as a parking ticket to first-degree murder. A criminal defense attorney must understand the different levels of crimes: Some are felonies, some are misdemeanors, and different degrees of crimes carry different punishment levels.
Criminal law is different from civil law: In civil law, a jury need only be unanimous in finding a preponderance of the evidence that favors either side, plaintiff or defendant – a proverbial “fifty percent, plus one” will suffice; whereas, in criminal law, an entire jury must agree that the prosecution has proven its case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Thus a criminal defense attorney should try to prove that his client is innocent but need only show that the prosecution’s case cannot be proven, by throwing the evidence, including the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses, into doubt.
Criminal law is a type of law that punishes people for crimes against the state. Crimes against the state include many types of infractions of the law. In the US, a criminal justice system is set up to rectify crimes and ensure they do not continue to happen. Criminal justice can be meted with something as minor as a warning or a fine to penalties as severe as the death penalty.
In the US, defendants suspected of committing some criminal act can either pay for a lawyer alone or have a court-appointed public defender commissioned at the state’s expense.
Criminal charges may be filed against someone because of testimony from another person or persons. Criminal charges may also be filed against someone with no testimony or accusation, usually initiated by some law enforcement official.
The notion of “innocent until proven guilty” is critical to the US Criminal Justice system. Therefore, in criminal proceedings, the prosecutor must prove the crime occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, it is essential to retain legal counsel with years of experience trying similar cases. Criminal cases tend to be complex and highly complicated legal matters.
If you or someone you know is involved in a criminal legal matter, you must immediately contact an experienced criminal law lawyer. This website gives you access to the best criminal lawyers around the country. Submit your case for a free, no-obligation consultation or learn more about a particular aspect of criminal law.
What Is a Criminal Attorney?
A criminal lawyer deals with all areas of criminal law. A criminal lawyer helps defend the persons accused of crimes in state or federal courts. A criminal lawyer also deals with the three most consistent items that make up a crime: an act, a mental state, and the intent to do social harm. The types of crimes that criminal attorneys deal with are classified as misdemeanors, , which are less serious, and felonies, which can be severe depending on the crime committed. A criminal lawyer is needed when the complainant makes an accusation that is investigated by the police.
Facts about Criminal Lawyers
A criminal lawyer is usually quite expensive but can be well worth it since an expert lawyer in the field of criminal law can do wonders at reducing sentences. Though criminal lawyers can be costly, having one on your side will probably improve the outcome of your case.
Here are some facts about criminal lawyers:
- Criminal lawyers specialize in defending individuals and organizations charged with criminal offenses.
- Criminal lawyers can work as prosecutors or defense attorneys, depending on their career goals and interests.
- Criminal lawyers must have a strong knowledge of criminal law and courtroom procedures and excellent communication and negotiation skills.
- Criminal lawyers handle many cases, from minor offenses like traffic violations to serious felonies like murder.
- Criminal lawyers often work long hours and may have to frequently travel to meet with clients, appear in court, and attend other legal proceedings.
- Criminal lawyers may work independently, in private law firms, or for government agencies such as public defender’s offices or the Department of Justice.
- Criminal lawyers may need to develop expertise in specific areas of criminal law, such as drug crimes, white-collar crimes, or violent crimes.
- Criminal lawyers must adhere to strict ethical standards and prioritize their clients’ interests while upholding and respecting the legal process.
Areas of Expertise
Criminal attorneys can have a wide range of expertise depending on their experience and interests. Some common areas of expertise for criminal attorneys include:
- DUI/DWI defense
- Drug crimes defense
- White-collar crimes defense
- Violent crimes defense
- Sex crimes defense
- Juvenile defense
- Domestic violence defense
- Federal criminal defense
- Cyber crimes defense
- Post-conviction relief and appeals
These are just some examples of areas of expertise for criminal attorneys. Depending on the attorney’s experience and background, they may also have expertise in other areas of criminal law.
Criminal Appeals and Post-Conviction Motions
The job of an appeals attorney is to use the legal process to force a review of your case, and to demonstrate that there were flaws in the legal process and evidence. To succeed, your attorney needs to understand the complexity of the laws and processes surrounding criminal appeals and post-conviction motions; your attorney also needs to know how to dissect your case and present convincing arguments backed by the law. In most cases, the appeals court considers your appeal based on the brief submitted by your attorney; in a quarter of the cases, the appeals judges listen to an oral argument.
With any state or federal criminal conviction it is important that your rights were upheld and your case was handled effectively and competently. If there was an error in the handling of your case, you may be entitled to an appeal. Whether an attorney failed to represent you fully, or the court erroneously denied a motion that could have made a difference to your case, or if new evidence emerges that could prove your innocence, it is crucial to take action swiftly.