Did you know that lawyers may practice different types of law or they may specialize in a narrow field? For example, some attorneys may practice both criminal and civil law, such as criminal misdemeanors and divorce cases. Others may only practice in civil injury or criminal felony areas. One thing that remains true across all areas of law, however, is that finding the best attorney possible is always important. What does that mean and what can you expect from the best criminal defense lawyer is the question we’re addressing today.
What is a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Criminal defense lawyers often specialize in the area of criminal law, although they may at times practice some in other areas. They have been trained to understand the law and see your case in a way that you likely can’t. One reason for this is that they should have an objective eye towards your case. While they advocate for you, it isn’t their life, so they shouldn’t get wrapped up in the emotion of your case like you do. This is a good thing. It’s because of this trait that they can see subtleties that you are likely unable to see yourself.
What Does the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?
You may not realize how much work goes into your case outside of the courtroom. Although the initial court appearance, usually an arraignment, may be quick, the time prior to the full resolution of your case can take weeks or months. During this time, both the prosecutor and your defense attorney are building their cases. You will likely meet with your attorney a few times, or more, to prepare. Your attorney will likely make several phone calls or emails, gather evidence, review similar cases, and read statutes. Your attorney uses all of these elements to formulate the strategy for your case.
In addition to these activities, your attorney handles your case in the courtroom. The attorneys know how to call witnesses and question them; how to introduce and admit evidence; and how to make relevant objections to ensure a fair trial. If possible, your attorney may work out a plea bargain with the prosecutor. In these cases, you may end up with a lesser charge or reduced jail time, or fines. Your attorney also knows if there are potential programs that may make more sense than just sitting in prison if you’re found guilty. For example, some areas have drug court programs that focus on helping people quit and recover from drug use.
What Education Do the Best Criminal Defense Lawyers Have?
Being the best criminal defense lawyer doesn’t just happen. They go to school for several years to obtain the education needed to pass the rigorous bar exam that is absolutely required for them to obtain a license to practice in their state. All attorneys must first graduate with a degree from an accredited four-year university. They must then pass the LSAT, be accepted into law school, and graduate from an accredited law school with a Juris Doctor degree. Then they must sit for and pass the bar exam, a feat not taken likely. Many law school students stop everything in their lives to study for this exam. Hopefully, they also interned with a criminal defense law firm while they were in law school, although this certainly isn’t required. Finally, experience is, of course, a significant aspect of education.
Facing any criminal charge, no matter how seemingly small, has consequences. These can be a fine, community service, or prison. The best thing you can do for yourself is to hire the best criminal defense attorney you can for your situation.