Maybe you’re thinking about becoming a lawyer? Maybe you require the services of an attorney? Whatever the case may be, you’re looking for specifics on the responsibilities of defense attorneys.
What does a defense attorney do? Read on to find out!
Take Cases He or She is Assigned To
Some defense attorneys are public defenders. They work for the state or local municipality and are assigned to represent clients who can’t afford the services of an attorney on their own. Not only do public defenders typically have larger caseloads than private defense attorneys, but they’re typically paid less as well.
Serve Clients Based on Choice
Whereas public defenders are forced to serve specific clients who are getting arrested, private defense attorneys are allowed to choose who they represent. While they’ll sometimes scope out clients on their own, oftentimes, clients will come to them asking for their services.
Speak With Clients About Cases
Once an attorney has agreed to work with a specific client, he or she will meet with the client and ask for specific information about the case. During this process, it’s important for the client to be forthright. By being truthful, the client can greatly assist the defense attorney in building a strong case.
This process will occur continuously before and during the trial. While it will sometimes occur in person, it can also occur via phone as well.
Though speaking with the client is vital in helping the defense attorney to build a strong case, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. In addition to speaking with clients, defense attorneys will also question police, interview witnesses, and look for pertinent evidence.
Defense attorneys also have the responsibility of reviewing prosecutors’ cases. In reviewing these cases, they are able to build solid rebuttals against them.
Another responsibility of defense attorneys is to examine existing evidence. The police will have collected evidence pertinent to the case and will be legally required to hand it over to the defense attorney for examination prior to the trial.
Select the Jury
A court jury isn’t as randomly selected as it might appear. While the original jury pool is chosen at random, the jurors selected are highly scrutinized by both the prosecutors and the defense attorneys. As a defense attorney, your goal is to choose jurors who would be sympathetic to your client’s situation during the trial.
Plea Bargain With the Prosecutor
In some cases, prosecutors will reduce charges prior to a trial in exchange for a guilty plea. This is known as plea bargaining, and it’s a key aspect of every defense attorney’s responsibilities.
Represent Clients in Court
As you probably already know, defense attorneys are responsible for defending their clients in court. During this process, the defense attorney will question and cross-examine witnesses, all the while trying to convince the jury of his or her client’s innocence.
Show Up for Sentencing
If the client has been handed a guilty verdict, the defense attorney must show up for sentencing. In some cases, sentencing is a formality. However, in other cases, the defense attorney may be able to talk the judge into a more lenient sentence for his or her client.
What Does a Defense Attorney Do? See for Yourself!
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