If you need to hire a criminal defence lawyer, it can be helpful to understand what one actually does during a trial to know who will fulfil this role best. In the following post therefore, we will look briefly at some of the main roles of a criminal lawyer.
The role of a criminal defence lawyer involves analysing the evidence that is being used against you and providing advice regarding the best please and sentence. If your plead is not guilty, it is the job of the lawyer to represent you during the trial. They will test the evidence presented by the prosecution and promote your case, making sure you have a fair trial. If though, you have pleaded guilty, it’s their job to direct the court towards the best sentence and point out any good points about you to ensure you get as fair a sentence in the end as possible.
What do they actually do?
When they first take on your case, they will get the details of all the allegations against you, and take any instructions you have. It may mean gathering evidence that will support your case, such as interviewing all of your witnesses. They will also look at the various procedural rules, cases and statutes that could be handy when it comes to defending you during trial.
The Defence Strategy
It is crucial for your lawyer to build a defence strategy, and this involves determining the weaknesses and strengths of your case. They will also explain to you the positives and negatives of pleading not guilty over guilty. They will consider your circumstances and the law when giving you this advice.
Before the Trial
Before the trial begins, your lawyer will prepare your case in line with what has been decided as your defence strategy. They will look at the evidence against and for you. This will help them plan out the cross examination of witnesses that the prosecution brings forward and determine an order for calling various witnesses out.
They will also, if possible, make applications for any limits they can put in place regarding evidence or if they think it’s necessary, to request that your case is dismissed. It is also part of their job in the days and weeks leading to the trial to listen to any concerns or worries you have and will highlight any new evidence that surfaces as soon as they possibly can.
During the Trial
When the trial begins, the criminal defence lawyer you have chosen is there to argue on your behalf and cross-examine witnesses. Depending on what your plea is, they may be working to clear you of any of the charges against you or at least ensure that you are given a fair sentence or punishment. They will also do all they can to ensure that the judge and jury, or if it’s a bench of magistrates, will take into consideration the allegations made against you alongside your circumstances, any rehabilitation you may have gone through or remorse you have shown.
After the Trial
After the trial has finished and it was unsuccessful, or if a more than reasonably harsh sentence was given, your lawyer will give you advice about appeals and may even begin the appeal process, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case.
Now that you know how they can help you, if you need the professional help of a criminal lawyer, please take a look at our extensive solicitor database to find one suitable for your case.