Legal Guide

Your Guide to Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney

Your Guide to Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney

A criminal lawyer or a criminal defense lawyer is a person who practices law of a particular jurisdiction by the bar. The ‘bar’ of a specific jurisdiction is basically an association which awards to attorneys license to practice. These licenses enable the attorneys the ability to practice their profession in a specific field.

The term ‘Criminal Defense Lawyer’ is use used for someone who acts as a legal representative of an accused or a defendant in the court of criminal law.

Can a criminal lawyer defend someone who they know is guilty?

A criminal defense attorney can defend a person who he knows is guilty. There are different reasons why a criminal should be defended by a criminal defense attorney. Criminal lawyers are less worried of what their client has done. Rather, they are more concerned of what their state can prove they did. They are not here to judge someone’s moral and pass a judgment on it, rather they are practicing to defend their client in the best possible way.

Even if the person who they are defending is guilty of a crime, the knowledge of being guilty does no change an attorney’s obligation and responsibility to defend him and work for his favor. An expert criminal lawyer works strives for an affable plea even where the prosecution has a very strong against the defendant. He will try his best to have the minimum felony charges for his defendant.

Choose Your Attorney Carefully!

Just imagine if you happened to choose someone incapable to bring you favorable outcome as being your criminal defense lawyer, what would happen? Plenty of questions will spin your mind.

  • What if I end up in prison?
  • What if I had to spend many years behind the bars?
  • What if I miss my family birthdays and major events for years?

These questions may sound crazy, but it important that you understand the fact that criminal charges are absolutely no laughing matter.

Misdemeanor and felony verdicts may not only ruin your personal but your work lives too. So, selecting a seasoned criminal defense lawyer is one of the most important choices which you have to make.

What is the main job of a criminal attorney?

The main responsibilities of a criminal attorney depends on the case they have taken to work on. But in general terms, it can be said that a criminal defense attorney has to do a lot of work for all his clients. The primary work of a criminal defense attorney is much more than just appearing in the court to argue with the prosecution and presenting your case in front of a judge or a jury.

A criminal defense consultant will discuss the particulars and details of your case. They he will consult you by providing you an idea of penalties you are facing because of that crime and suggests you that how you could be helped. If you have decided to select him as your attorney, he will begin to work on your case.

Further steps taken by your criminal defense attorney

After being hired as your criminal defense attorney, your lawyer will take your case further by taking few steps. He will have to do much on your behalf. He will:

  • Interview the eyewitnesses
  • Select the witnesses to bring them to jail
  • Meet the prosecution or the judge to discuss your case
  • Collect the needed evidences in your favor and will conduct a legal research
  • Monitors to dismiss the case entirely before it goes to trial

If he analyses that your prosecution’s evidences against you are indomitable and you are willing to be plead guilty, then your attorney will try his best to   get the most favorable plea for you.

However, if your case has gone for trial, your attorney will still play a big role in choosing the jury and then will defend you in the best possible way. Your lawyer will do anything to gain the best possible outcome for you.

What is termed as ‘Confidential’ between you and your attorney?

Anything which you communicate with your attorney will be considered as ‘confidential information’ between you and your attorney. The criminal lawyer is bound to keep the information confidential if you discuss anything related to the legal process of being as a client. Keeping the information confidential is one of main privilege which a client or defendant must enjoy while working with a criminal defense attorney. The United States legal system pays much importance to the basic rights of a client. It pays a lot of emphasis of keeping his information confidential. This confidentiality enables a defendant to be upright and honest in whatever he communicates with his lawyer.

There are only few circumstances in which an attorney may share your information:

  • To prevent you from committing a crime
  • To prevent someone else’s death
  • To get a legal advice from another lawyer
  • To protect himself or his colleagues against the allegations of the wrong behavior

What is usual work routine of a criminal defense attorney?

There is not a typical work routine of a criminal defense attorney. Their work routine is dependent on their daily work schedule which varies form case to case. At any given day, after going to their office they may check mails, emails, phone calls or do some legal research. Then they may lead for a bench trial for an easy misdemeanor and win it for their client quickly.

If they don’t have more court cases, they may come back to office for consulting, meeting a client or simply continue their work. Yet another day, they might not come to the courtroom at all or may be travelling the whole day for collecting the possible witnesses for the preparation of an upcoming case.

How much time is required by a criminal defense attorney to complete a case?

Cases differ in every aspect. Simple misdemeanors might take few hours to complete as these cases don’t go for a court trial. They are resolved in less time. The cases which are more complicated like violent felonies and serious financial crimes may require hundreds of hours to complete.  Cases in which more investigation is required, take more time to resolve while others may take years to end. Your defense attorney can give you a better idea of time required to complete the case.

Are criminal lawyers licensed for their specialty?

Anyone who is admitted to the bar in a particular jurisdiction is allowed to practice as a criminal defense lawyer in that jurisdiction. If a Bar-admitted immigration lawyer or labor lawyer want to switch their areas of specialization and want to practice as a criminal defense lawyer, they simply can without getting any further license or training. Every lawyer can practice in all types of fields. They can gain a further certification in the area they want to switch to ensure their client that they are expert in their filed.

There are still a big lot of criminal defense lawyers who don’t have specialty certifications. We can put it this way that all lawyers do have ‘specialty’ of some type whether they are certified or not. Well, if they are not certified doesn’t mean that they aren’t an expert too.

What is the cost of a criminal defense attorney?

It is difficult to outline the cost of a criminal defense attorney. Few of them may cost you $1000 while others may charge $20,000 as their service fee. This is because every case is different and every attorney is unique.

It is obvious that a highly experienced attorney will surely cost you more than an attorney with less experience. What you need to understand is the attorney’s reputation, seniority, experience and skill set which defines the charges of an attorney.

If you have not committed a big crime which your attorney can handle in a day or two, they might charge you $1000. However, if you are accused of multiple felonies which need month to complete the work, they might charge you on hourly basis which goes up to $200,000 till the entire work is done. If you want to get an idea, what cost your case may take, better consult with your criminal defense attorney. He will give you a better idea while looking at the amount of work they need to do.

How much a criminal defense lawyer earns?

There is no fixed amount that a Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer earns. Criminal lawyers are comparatively rich people. They enjoy expensive homes and luxury cars. How much they earn basically depends on few factors such as:

  • Their location
  • Their experience and specialization
  • The size of their company
  • Their pay structure
  • How senior they are?
  • Are they working ‘public’ or ‘private’?

Well, it depends from case to case. On average, a criminal defense lawyer’s pay was $120,910 in 2018. Most of criminal lawyers considerably earn sometime less or more than this amount. A lawyer may make $50,000 in rural Alabama annually. Public defender may earn $70,000 annually and gain amazing package and benefits as being government employees. So much so, in New York City, a criminal defense lawyer who has been practicing above 30 years might earn $5,000,000 annually.


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