For every kind of law, we have lawyers that have sworn to defend and advocate for their clients – the public – in the court of law. Each of these lawyers specialize in a branched but specific part of the law and use their knowledge of it to act in the interest of their clients.
There are family lawyers that help to settle divorces and other similar family cases, labor lawyers that focus on ensuring that labor laws in companies are followed, corporate lawyers that help with the dealings of everyday life in the corporate world, etc. We also have criminal lawyers, who work in what most claim to be the most interesting part of the legal profession.
Criminal lawyers are also known as public defenders and they help to defend their clients who might be individuals, organizations, or other similar entities, who have been charged formally with a crime. The work of the criminal lawyer is very important. They are obligated to use any legal means, to make sure that their clients do not eventually go to jail or get punished. They work in direct opposition to prosecution lawyers and would either work to prove innocence, or to advocate for a lesser punishment than expected for their client.
Duties of a criminal lawyer
A criminal lawyer is bound by certain ethics of the profession under the Solicitor Conduct Rules. These rules have been laid down for all lawyers to follow without fail, and any deviation from these would be considered unethical conduct. These duties include:
- To always act in the best interest of their client.
All citizens have a right to a defense during trial and that defense must be rock solid. In the legal profession, it is not uncommon for a person to be wrongfully charged with a crime. Because of these, defense lawyers are expected to always act in the interest of their clients no matter their personal biases
- To be civil, honest and gracious in all their dealings.
Criminal lawyers are expected to always act in a manner befitting an agent of the law. They are expected to distinguish themselves from other brawlers arguing in a bar
- To ensure their job is done competently and reasonably.
A lot is on the line during a criminal case proceeding. Because of this, criminal lawyers are expected to be on their toes, and to render their services to their clients in the most responsible, most competent way possible.
- To ensure they do not engage in dealings that compromise their integrity and self-respect.
Criminal lawyers are expected to avoid doing anything that would undermine their work. Unethical practices like lying under oath, or deliberately manipulating proceedings to end in their favor should not be undertaken.
- To work in tandem with the stipulations of both the solicitor’s conduct rules and the law.
Yes, lawyers have to uphold the law, shocking as it seems. They also have to ensure that they do not deviate from the Solicitor code of ethics.
What to expect from a criminal lawyer in court.
Court proceedings are quite complex but with a criminal lawyer on your side, you can be sure that you are going to get the best possible defense there is. To be on the safe side however, it is important that you know what to expect from your lawyers so that you are able to help them build a good defense for you. Here are the things criminal lawyers are expected to do.
- They meet up with the client to discuss the case.
The worst lawyers are the ones that think they can build a proper defense strategy without consulting with their clients. It is a dangerous thing for both lawyer and client to present themselves in court without making sure that they have agreed to avoid or focus on certain aspects of the case.
If the prosecution senses a rift and is able to exploit it to their benefit, then the client and the lawyer are both at fault; the client for not urging the lawyer to discuss more, and the lawyer from acting incompetently and irrationally. Lawyers are also expected to interpret the law to their clients. This better helps the clients to understand and be aware of their most pragmatic options.
- They investigate the crime and pick witnesses.
A good lawyer is expected to examine the crime scene. Not necessarily to act as an unofficial detective, but to potentially better their chances of understanding the case and exploiting whatever they can get from their digging. They also interview witnesses to get a feel of what actually transpired. This is necessary because first-hand witnesses help to paint a more vivid picture. It also helps for the criminal lawyer to be able to identify and pick their own witnesses. They also question the police and pick witnesses including experts on the subject at hand like doctors, nurses, ballistic experts, etc.
- They study relevant case laws, crime codes, statutes, etc and use the knowledge gained to build a defense strategy.
This helps them to construct a better strategy with decisions in judicial precedents at the center. In doing this, they are able to know what baths to take for the defense, what pitfalls to avoid and what aspects of the case to focus on.
- They bargain with the prosecution for lesser charges and settlements.
If the case is not looking too good and a conviction seems to be inevitable, the defense lawyer should focus on trying to get the prosecution to settle with lower punitive decisions.
- They argue, file for and draft motions to dismiss or suppress a charge, or for a change of venue.
These are factors that help the case in the long run and they are worked on during pretrial proceedings. The defense and prosecution lawyer basically set the battlefield on which the trial is going to be conducted.
- They argue in favor of the defendant at trial.
The defense lawyer helps the client to make their case and poke holes in the charges the prosecution has leveled against them.
The result of the trial proceedings would ultimately determine if the court sees the defendant guilty or innocent.
- They make appeals on behalf of the defendant.
In the case that the defendant is found guilty. The criminal lawyer is obligated to contest the ruling for their client, depending on the circumstances involved.
It is no fun being on the opposite end of the prosecution in a criminal trial case but it happens. While some people choose to self-represent, it is best to be represented by any of the competent criminal lawyers Brisbane offers. Your chances of survival significantly increase after that.
Howden Saggers lawyers are the most capable lawyers both in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. If you want to find out just how capable criminal lawyers can be, why not try the best? We are here to serve, and assist. Contact us today!