Many have heard the term, criminal Defense Lawyer, but not many know exactly what goes into the process when you hire one. Below is a quick guide into this, in case anyone ever asks you or you are looking for the services of such a professional.
First, let’s get the definition out of the way. A lawyer such as a criminal defense professional has several different and crucial roles when taking on a case of any magnitude. They will be the people responsible for defending you in the event you are charged with a crime and will do all the necessary communication on the matter, with other authorities involved, on your behalf. This link has more on that.
Examples of cases they handle include post-trial issues, sentencing, criminal charges, appeals and criminal investigations. They can be either private services offered by law firms or work for the federal government if you are based in the United States for instance. If a law enforcement office or a judge in a court believes you are guilty of a crime and are charged either jail term or a fine, these lawyers step in to try and help resolve the case.
When you hire a lawyer in this category, there are a few steps they would go through.
The Case is assigned to them
First and foremost, before they lift a pen, the case is assigned to them. There are two ways in which this is done, either the court assigns them to the defendant or the defendant contact the expert. If they work for the public defender’s office, they are paid through them. The same goes for those who are assigned to the case by the state or federal courts. If the case is serious the court may consider appointing a private criminal defense lawyer.
The First Interview Regarding the Case
The second step after the case has been assigned to them is for them to interview the relevant people involved, this includes the main defendant themselves. Once they speak to the client, they will seek to get as much thorough detail about the case as possible and will ask specific questions regarding the case and the circumstances surrounding it. They can learn a lot through this initial process such as the weakness, strengths and obstacles of the person.
This could also be a good time for you to ask the experts your questions, to get to know them and their background better. After all the better both parties know each other, the smoother things will go and some example questions are mentioned here for your perusal: https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/opia/job-search-toolkit/finding-the-right-fit/networking-questions-to-ask/
The Investigation Begins
Once the relevant questions have been asked and clarification has been gotten surrounding the events and details, they won’t stop here but will investigate it further and try and determine what other individuals to speak to, as well as any other possible and relevant avenues to go to that will help acquit the defendant.
Individuals they may question can include officers of the law, any neighbors, witnesses and family or friends. Once all the resources are exhausted, all the information is brought together to try and build a strong defense. Any evidence that can be present that you think may acquit you, should be provided to the lawyers to build a strong case.
The Analysis Stage
The evidence brought to the case is now analyzed and carefully studied using meticulous and knowledgeable theories and facts. The evidence is also independently investigated and tested to see if any legal conclusions can work towards winning the case and against convicting the client.
In most cases, there is always a continued communication between the lawyer and defendant up until and sometimes after the case is brought to trial at the courts. Advice from the existing firm Utah lawyer Greg Smith is that any good lawyer will always keep their client in the loop every step of the way, and this is something you should make sure you speak to them about. The conversations however need to be kept confidential at all times.
Once the case is brought to court, few more things take place such as the:
- Jury selection process
- The Pleas bargain
- The trail
- The Sentencing
It can be a daunting process to go through both for the client and their lawyer, but with a reputable firm by your side, it can make things easier.