The Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney: A Comprehensive Guide
When a criminal case is filed in court, three parties are involved: the prosecution, the defendant, and the defense attorney. In the lifecycle of a criminal case, the prosecution’s job is to prove a case against the defendant. The defense attorney will build a lawsuit against the trial and try to prove the defendant is non-guilty of the crime. According to a Criminal Defense Attorney near Charleston, SC, this is the best-case scenario for a defense attorney. However, in most cases, it is the attorney’s job to advise his client when to take a plea bargain and ensure that the client gets the best defense. Here are some of the critical roles played by a criminal defense lawyer during the lifecycle of a case.
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What does a criminal defense attorney do?
If an individual is facing criminal charges, the first thing that he should do is hire a defense attorney. He will evaluate your case and advise you on how to proceed. It is also essential that the person facing criminal charges should not give any statement without his lawyer present. A criminal lawyer specializes in advising individuals and organizations against criminal charges. He will have in-depth knowledge of both federal and state criminal laws. Thus, a criminal lawyer will first provide you with the necessary advice regarding case management.
When you hire a criminal lawyer, you will find that his primary goal is to uphold his client’s legal rights. For instance, if there is any issue with the chain of custody of the evidence, it is the criminal lawyer’s job to present it in court. Similarly, suppose the legal procedure was not followed during the arrest, or there was an unnecessary use of force while the arrest was being made. In that case, the criminal lawyer will present evidence on behalf of his client in court. The work of a criminal lawyer begins the moment he takes a lawsuit on behalf of a client.
You will find that he will work continuously to gather the necessary evidence, interview witnesses, and check for any legal fault to build a case on behalf of his client. Irrespective of the strength of the case, a criminal lawyer with build a strategy that will help strengthen the point of his client so that he can acquit him or, at the least, help him get the minimum sentence. This is essential to ensure that he gets the best representation and for that it is important to be aggressive. A defence attorney will represent his client aggressively and within the legal purview.
What should a person keep in mind while selecting a criminal lawyer?
When selecting a criminal lawyer for a family member, you must keep a few things in mind. For example, getting the most aggressive representation for your family member in court is important because that can turn the case in his favour. Aggressive representation can help the defendant in several ways. It can ensure that he has a strong case in court, the strategy that his lawyer develops is perfect for helping him get acquitted, and at the same time, the defense lawyer has managed to gather evidence to help turn the case in his favor. Thus, when you hire Criminal Defense Attorney near Charleston, SC, you will find that he will first evaluate your case and build a strategy for an aggressive representation. Some of the other points that you should consider while selecting a criminal lawyer to represent a family member are as follows:
- Checking the experience of your lawyer: When you hire a criminal lawyer, the first thing you should check for is his experience. If your lawyer has experience in representing complex defence cases in the past, then you can be assured that he will mean your family member equally aggressively. In the case of complex defence cases, gathering evidence or getting witness testimony can be tricky. Only experienced lawyers can manage these and ensure that these are done by staying strictly within the legal parameters. Hence, the experience of your criminal lawyer will play a crucial role in helping you evaluate how well you will be represented in court.
- The reputation of your lawyer: The next thing you must check is the reputation of your lawyer. A lawyer’s reputation is decided by the number of cases he has won. In the case of a defense lawyer, it is essential to provide the best advice to his client. Sometimes this can mean accepting a plea bargain, resulting in reduced sentencing. Here, a lawyer’s reputation becomes essential as he can speak from his experience. Moreover, his reputation in the legal community will also play a crucial role in guiding his client and developing the best strategy for a case.
- Communication skills with clients and witnesses: When hiring a criminal lawyer, you must ensure he has excellent communication skills. This skill can help him win a case. While communicating with a client, a lawyer can identify crucial pieces of evidence that his client might not know that he has. This often comes out during discussions with his client. Simplest things, such as something his client saw or did, might help turn an entire criminal case.
- Similarly, while gathering evidence from a witness, it is essential to communicate clearly with him. Witnesses must be put at ease so that you can get all the necessary information from them. For this, too, you need excellent communication skills. You will find that good criminal lawyers have excellent communication skills and can use them during a discussion with clients and witnesses and even during a trial.
Thus, when you hire a criminal lawyer, you must look for several factors, such as the ability to lawyer to represent the case aggressively in court and his aptitude to gather the necessary evidence to build a strong case. Finding all these details about a lawyer is difficult. One way to find the required information is to ask friends and relatives about reputed defense attorneys they might know.
Otherwise, you can check online about your lawyer’s reputation and background. You can also check the legal standing of your lawyer by consulting with the local legal bodies and trying to understand how well he is known there. Once you are satisfied with the reputation of your lawyer, you can proceed with retaining him. However, once a case is registered, you cannot delay hiring a criminal lawyer, weakening your case. Hence, you must discuss with your family member who has been arrested and hire a Criminal Defense Attorney near Charleston, SC, at the earliest.
How much does a criminal lawyer cost in South Carolina?
When you hire a criminal lawyer in South Carolina, you must consider the expenses involved. You will find that the costs are higher in the case of an experienced and reputed lawyer. If you hire a lawyer who has an excellent record and is known to win most of the cases that he takes on, then you must be prepared to pay higher fees. In most cases, you will find that the hourly rate of a criminal lawyer in South Carolina can range from $148 to $404, with the average being $249. However, if you plan to retain a lawyer, you must pay a higher amount. You might have to pay a $3000 retainer fee to retain a criminal defence lawyer. This will be for ten hours. You will have to pay higher fees if you opt for higher retainers. Depending on the complexity of your case, you must evaluate whether you can manage with the hourly fees or opt for a retainer.
Are there different types of criminal defense attorneys?
While practicing criminal law, a criminal defense lawyer usually begins to specialize in a particular field. Depending on the specialization and the defendants they start representing, you will find different types of criminal defence attorneys. Some of these are as follows:
- Public defenders are court-appointed defenders, usually given to defendants who cannot afford to appoint a defender to represent their case in court. Now this is not a particular specialization and is generally done to reduce the caseload from senior defenders. However, if an interesting case has come to trial, a senior defender takes on the case pro bono. Public defenders are often inexperienced, but this is only true with some public defenders. In some cases, public defenders are pretty experienced and can represent your family member quite aggressively.
- Federal defense attorneys:When a lawyer begins a practice, you will find that he starts by defending different types of cases. However, as he progresses in his career, he can choose to become an expert in federal law. Federal law is different from state law, and you will find that the judgements are also quite different. Sometimes, if a case is tried in a federal court, the defendant can receive a harsher punishment than a similar case in a state court. You will find federal cases usually deal with white-collar crimes, drug offences, and issues related to immigration.
- Moreover, if a crime is committed in one state and the criminal flees to another, he can be tried in a federal court. Usually, federal law gains priority over state law; hence, a federal defense attorney will have expensive experience in criminal law. You will find that he will be a lawyer of significant reputation, and such a lawyer will prepare the best defense. He will also give you the best advice regarding whether the defendant should apply for an appeal or accept a plea bargain. He is also the best person to provide you with advice regarding how you should go about preparing for an appeal.
- State criminal defense attorney: The state criminal defense attorney is your criminal lawyer who will help develop a strategy to represent you in court best. First, you will find that a state criminal defense attorney will cover cases relating to theft, DUI, assault, murder, domestic violence, and other such cases. When you hire a state defense attorney, he is privy to all information related to the witness and the investigative reports filed by the police. Without the defence attorney’s help, you cannot evaluate the case the prosecution is trying to build against the defendant. Moreover, it is the job of the state defense attorney to ensure that his client’s rights are upheld at all stages of the case. Thus, even if it seems that the state criminal defense attorney can be less qualified than a federal attorney, his work is no less critical when representing his client.
When hiring a criminal defense attorney, you must understand the charges brought against your family member and then decide whether you need a state or a federal defense criminal lawyer. In most cases, a state criminal defense lawyer can represent your family member, however, if you find that the case is being tried in a federal court, you will have to hire a federal defense criminal lawyer.
Can a criminal defense lawyer assist with jury selection?
When it comes to jury selection, you will find that the criminal defense lawyer has an important role, and he assists in the entire process. It is essential to take the help of a criminal defense lawyer during the jury selection process to ensure that the whole process is transparent and free of bias. He can also remove a potential juror if he feels that the juror is dishonest about his judgment. Thus, a defense lawyer has a crucial role to play in the entire jury selection process.
If you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer, you must get in touch with us at Longshore Law Firm LLC. We are one of the best Criminal Defense attorneys near Charleston, SC. Call us if you need aggressive representation for a case involving your family member. We will provide the best strategies to uphold our client’s rights.
So give us a call if you need immediate representation.