A criminal defense lawyer is an attorney specializing in the legal representation of people and businesses charged with criminal offense. A criminal defense lawyer will argue the defendant's case in court as part of the legal team of the attorney. A defense lawyer will often appear at the same time as the attorney handling the case. He will review all of the evidence with the client, offer his opinion of the evidence, and determine whether he thinks the charge against his or her client should be dropped. If the client chooses to enter a guilty plea, the criminal defense lawyer will work with the prosecuting attorney to present all possible defense arguments.
The vast majority of criminal cases end with a guilty verdict. In the few instances that there is not a guilty verdict, the case will go to trial. The Supreme Court has established certain procedures for determining which cases will go to trial and which will be resolved without trial. These procedures include giving the prosecution and defense presented copies of witness and victim testimony, cross-examinations of witnesses, and submissions of closing arguments by both sides. After the prosecution presents its case to the judge, the defense lawyer will present its own argument to the jury about the evidence, the credibility of witnesses, and any other issue that may cast doubt on the strength of the prosecution's case. If the jury finds the defendant not guilty, the attorney will walk away from the case.
The majority of criminal cases end with a finding of not guilty by the jury. In those cases where a finding of not guilty by the jury is not a foregone conclusion, but the case cannot go to trial because the defendant has already entered a guilty plea, there is another procedure in which the criminal defense lawyers may have an impact on the outcome. If a juror is willing to take the case into a trial, the jury may forego a guilty verdict and vote to convict the defendant.
In many jurisdictions, this alternative sentencing process is called the "innocent opportunity to prove innocence." In many cases, if a person is charged with a crime, the prosecutor does not have a "proof of guilt" against that person. Rather than having to build a case against a suspect to prove that the person committed the crime, the prosecutor offers the individual a deal in which he or she plead guilty to the crime. The person does not have to be found guilty; rather, he or she must admit their involvement with the crime. This guilty plea allows the prosecutor to avoid the need to prove guilt, as it now has been proven that the defendant was not involved in the commission of the crime.
Although most people who are guilty do not end up spending time in prison, many do spend time in jail because of plea bargains. A criminal defense lawyer, who has experience with the criminal justice system, can advise his or her client about whether a guilty plea is the best option for them. For example, the lawyer may advise his client not to take a plea bargain that involves a sentence of a less amount of time in jail.
A criminal defense lawyer can also help his or her client to negotiate a plea bargain for lesser charges. In many cases, the criminal lawyer will work to ensure that his or her client is able to retain the same attorneys that would be used for a trial, but without the risk of spending additional time in jail. This is because plea deals are typically written in such a way that enables the criminal attorney to negotiate a good deal for his or her client. Check out this page to find out more!
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