Criminal law concerns the system of legal rules that define what conduct is classified as a crime and how the government may prosecute individuals that commit crimes. Federal, state, and local governments all have penal codes that explain the specific crimes that they prohibit and the punishments that criminals may face. Individuals who violate federal, state, and local laws may face fines, probation, or incarceration. Lawsuits against criminals are initiated by prosecuting attorneys who act on behalf of the government to enforce the law. A crime is any act or omission of an act in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it. Most crimes are defined by statute, and they vary tremendously across different states and counties.
Prosecution of Crimes
Unless a crime is a strict liability crime (meaning that no particular mental state is required), statutes typically break crimes down into two elements: an act and a mental state such as knowingly or recklessly. In order to be convicted of a crime, a prosecutor must show that the defendant has met both of these elements. For example, larceny is the taking of the property of another with the intent to deprive them of it permanently. Thus, the defendant must have committed the act of taking the property and have done so with the mental intention to take the property of another (as opposed to believing that the property belonged to him). It is not enough for a prosecutor to suggest that the defendant committed a crime. Rather, the prosecutor is required to prove each and every element of a crime “beyond a reasonable doubt” in order for a defendant to be convicted. Police officers, prosecutors, and other government officials must also follow certain procedures in pursuing criminal activity. This is because all citizens have certain constitutional rights that the government must respect and protect. If these rights are not respected, it may prevent a prosecutor from obtaining a conviction in a case. Criminal attorney, also known as criminal defense lawyers and public defenders, work to defend individuals, organizations, and entities that have been charged with a crime. Criminal attorneys handle a diverse spectrum of criminal cases, ranging from domestic violence crimes, sex crimes, violent crimes and drug crimes to driving under the influence (DUI), theft, embezzlement, and fraud.
Criminal Attorney Duties & Responsibilities
Criminal attorneys represent defendants facing criminal charges in state, federal and appellate courts. Their scope of practice includes bail bond hearings, plea bargains, trial, revocation hearings (parole or probation), appeals and post-conviction remedies. As part of the attorney’s job functions, a criminal attorney will:
• Investigate the case and interview witnesses
• Research case law, statutes, crimes codes, and procedural law
• Build a defense and develop a case strategy
• Negotiate with the prosecution to plea bargain to lesser charges
• Draft, file and argue motions such as motions to dismiss and motions to suppress
• Advocate for the defendant at trial
• Draft, file and argue appeals
Criminal Attorney Salary
Criminal attorney salaries vary, depending on the size and scope of the practice. Public defender and non-profit salaries are usually modest (the $30,000 to $50,000 range is common). Criminal attorneys employed in law firms generally earn the highest salaries; experienced criminal attorneys can earn well into the six figures. The highest paid criminal attorneys are often those that represent high-profile, wealthy defendants in high-stakes cases.
Education, Training & Certification
The education and other requirements to practice as a criminal attorney are as follows:
• Education: Like all lawyers, criminal lawyers must first complete a bachelor’s degree, and then obtain a law degree. The two degrees typically take a total of seven years to complete.
• License: Criminals attorneys must pass the bar examination in the state in which they intend to practice.
• Certification: Some criminal lawyers earn a board certification from the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC). The NBLSC is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Bar Association to provide board certification for attorneys and is an outgrowth of the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Criminal Lawyer Skills & Competencies
Criminal lawyers must possess a variety of additional skills to succeed in their jobs, including the following:
• Writing and speaking skills: Excellent oral and written advocacy skills in order to argue a client’s case before a judge and persuade a jury.
• Research and investigative skills: Investigative and research skills are also important in building a client’s case and establishing a strong defense.
• Creative and analytical skills: Strong creative thinking and analytical skills to develop a legal strategy, analyze case law and litigate complex cases.
• Legal knowledge and experience: In-depth understanding of state, federal and local rules, court procedures, evidentiary laws, and local judges to navigate the criminal justice system efficiently and competently.
• Interpersonal skills: Excellent interpersonal skills are necessary to build a strong client-attorney relationship. Criminal defendants are a finicky group who sometimes go through many lawyers before settling on one they like. Therefore, the ability to attract and retain clients is essential to a thriving criminal defense practice.
Criminal lawyers specialized in criminal law. This could be a misdemeanor or criminal, where you have been charged with a crime. When you are charged with a crime, you are not considered guilty until proven guilty; it is your duty to try to make sure that you are not guilty. This means that they review your case, work with you to gather all the relevant information, and then deal with other lawyers working on the case to try to find a quick solution. One of the reasons why you may want to engage a criminal defense lawyer is if you are charged with a DUI. Driving under the influence is a serious condition that can result in the loss of your license, a large fine, or even a prison sentence. It is your lawyer’s duty to try to achieve the best results through a good agreement that can benefit you in the long term. They will gather evidence against you to help you determine the best appeal for the best outcome. Domestic violence is another crime that you may want to appoint a criminal lawyer to act on your behalf. Although you may feel that you can execute the law in your hands, having a lawyer who works for you can provide a variety of benefits that will help you achieve the best agreement and the best results. When it comes to domestic violence, and your partner claims that you mistreated him unless there are witnesses, this is a scenario, “he said, as she said. Your lawyer will work with the available evidence, advise you, present relevant documents, and attend all pre-trial conferences to try to minimize the possibility of the case being resolved. In any case, your goal should be not to go to trial. You want your criminal lawyer to decide to take the case to court, while it can cost you a lot of time and money. This applies if you have been accused of sexual abuse, domestic violence, or even abuse of children. In advance, you can reach a solution, the sooner you can continue with your own life. If you are accused of theft, for example, you will have the opportunity to hire a criminal lawyer. They are the defense lawyers who will review the police report, documentation, and supporting evidence. They will review any evidence on the camera to determine if you are guilty of the crime. If they are found guilty, they will discuss your case with you and help you identify the best solutions to proceed. In some cases, if this is your first charge, your culprit may be at fault, and you may leave the service or community service instead of incarceration. Remember that your criminal lawyers will come to expert witnesses, they will know what to do when it comes to presenting documents, and they will know how best to challenge any evidence against them. This can make choosing this type of lawyer the best solution to help you reach a quick and fair solution.
Types Of Criminal Lawyers
• Panel lawyers: Each government will have a committee of private defense attorneys who will be compensated hourly for their services and time. In general, the use of a group of defense lawyers is usually complementary to the public defense service and not as an alternative.
• Private Lawyers: Private lawyers are hired by the defendants who can afford them for legal services. They are mostly employed by large, medium and small to represent their clients on criminal defense and justice. Private lawyers are surely expensive in which a middle class or poor person cannot afford.
• District Lawyer: It is the responsibility of the Government to prosecute persons accused of a crime. In most countries, this process is carried out by the local prosecutor. Local district attorneys generally have some district attorneys who can be summoned when necessary.
• Legal Aid Societies: Indigents defendants are represented by this lawyer who is employed by numerous non-profit organizations. For example, every state owns an organization which employee lawyers for the poor defenders who cannot afford to hire private lawyers.
• Public Defenders: The public defender is a lawyer whose main task is to provide legal advice and representation in cases of low quality, as well as to assist people who cannot compensate for legal assistance. The system appoints public defenders and assigned to a particular state or state.
A criminal defense attorney fulfills many important roles during the course of a criminal case. He or she is responsible for defending a person who is charged with a crime. He or she speaks on the client’s behalf.
Assignment of the Case
A criminal defense attorney may be contacted directly by the defendant or may be assigned the case by the court. Many criminal defense attorneys are public defenders who are paid by the public defender’s office. They are appointed cases by local, state or federal courts. Other criminal defense attorneys are hired by private firms. Some criminal defense attorneys have an independent legal office that they man themselves. Public defenders tend to be paid a lower salary than private lawyers and also tend to have a higher case load due to the referral process and the pay coming from individuals other than defendants. In some cases, a court may appoint a private lawyer to take a specific case.
Interview about the Case
Once the criminal defense attorney has the opportunity to meet personally with the client, he or she should try to get as many details about the case as possible. By asking specific questions about the case, he or she can learn about possible defenses and strengths and weaknesses about the case. This requires a careful and thorough questioning of the defendant.
Investigation into the Case
In addition to asking the criminal defendant pointed questions about the case, he or she must further investigate the case to determine any possible avenues of acquitting the defendant. This often includes questioning police about the procedures that they used in conjunction with the case. It may also include talking to witnesses who have information about the case and collecting information about the case. All of this information is used to try to build a strong defense for the case. If an expert witness is used in the case, the criminal defense attorney may interview him or her about the testimony he or she may provide and the evidence that may be presented in case. A criminal defense attorney has the right to review the prosecution’s case before it is submitted to the jury. This allows him or her to find any holes in the case against the defendant and to try to find evidence that may refute the prosecutor’s case, such as hiring an independent lab or expert to test evidence in the case.
Analysis of Evidence
Analyzing the evidence against a criminal defendant requires the criminal defense attorney to carefully study the facts and theories of the case. He or she may have evidence independently tested. Additionally, he or she may examine the evidence to determine if there are any legal theories that work against the conviction of his or her client.
Continued Contact with the Client
A criminal defense attorney must stay in contact with his or her client to explain any developments in the case and to keep him or her informed about the case. The attorney must ensure that conversations with the client are kept confidential. The attorney must also ensure that he or she communicates information about the case to the client so that he or she has a better understanding of the possible consequences.
A criminal defense attorney assists with the jury selection process. He or she may try to have jurors removed for cause if they may be biased against the defendant or even if he or she simply has a bad feeling about a potential juror.
A criminal defense attorney is also responsible for talking about the status of the case and negotiating with the prosecutor regarding any particular plea bargain. A criminal defense attorney may be able to help secure a favorable deal for the defendant that result in a reduction of charges or the possible punishment.
A criminal defense attorney fights for his or her client during the trial. He or she examines witnesses, cross-examines the state’s witnesses and tries to convince the jury that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden of proof.
If the criminal defendant is sentenced for the crime either because he or she accepted a plea bargain or was convicted by the judge or jury, a criminal defense attorney can represent the defendant during the sentencing phase. He or she may discuss factors that can help convince the judge or jury to limit the amount of time that the defendant serves and to discuss possible alternatives to incarceration.
Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you need a Salt Lake City Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506