When charged with any criminal case, it is always a good idea to hire a criminal defense lawyer with immediate effect as what might seem like a simple case, can quickly escalate into a much bigger problem. Having a criminal attorney at your side from the word go is of the essence as he/she works in your best interests, thus will go above and beyond to get you the best outcome. But what exactly do criminal defense lawyers do and what type of cases do they handle?
Who is a criminal defense attorney?
Simply put and also as the name suggests, this is an attorney who specializes in defense of individuals, companies, and organizations charged with criminal activity.
For one to become a criminal attorney, they must study for a degree in law, and also, pass the bar examination of the state they plan on practicing litigation in. Commonly referred to as public defenders, criminal attorneys usually practice law in all types of courts from the state, federal to appellate and their primary role in any criminal case is to
- Investigate the case by interviewing the defendant as well as the witnesses
- Analyze the evidence
- Create a defense and case strategy in line with the law, crime codes, and statutes
- Negotiate with the prosecution panel to negotiate a better ruling for the defendant
- Drag, file and argue for appeals in case the outcome is negative.
What type of cases does a criminal lawyer handle?
Now that you know who a criminal defense attorney is and the roles that they carry out, what type of cases do they handle?
As noted earlier, a criminal lawyer (quick plug for best Sydney criminal lawyer) usually handles crime cases. With that in mind, it is vital to note that not all criminal cases are the same. For instance, a person who is arrested for murder cannot be charged the same way as a person who is in for petty theft. In respect to that, criminal cases that a criminal attorney deals with are usually divided into two categories, namely, felony and misdemeanor.
Also known as a high crime, a felony refers to more serious misconduct, and if found guilty, it is punishable by imprisonment for over one year or death.
Examples of felonies include
- Aggravated assault/battery
- Grand larceny
- Possession of certain illegal drugs
- White collar crime, for instance, fraud
Contrary to a felony, misdemeanor cases, on the other hand, are less serious crimes. Majority of the times, these cases are usually punishable by one year in prison and/or a hefty fine. Example of misdemeanor cases include
- The earlier mentioned petty theft
- Disorderly conduct
- Reckless driving
- Public intoxication
- First time possession of drugs such as marijuana
- Traffic rule violation.
All the cases listed above are examples of what a criminal defense attorney can help you with, in case you are arrested. Some attorneys specialize in felonies while others specialize in misdemeanors. Other go the extra mile in focusing on a particular case. For instance, some criminal defense lawyers will only handle murder cases while others focus on white collar crimes. The more specialized an attorney is, the better they are at managing your case and getting you a better ruling.