The criminal law system is considered as three part system. It consists of the judge and the jury, the defense lawyer and the prosecutor. When a case is presented in a court for a trial, the prosecutor argues to show that the accused person is guilty by arguing. On the other hand, a defense attorney tries to prove that the defendant is not guilty by arguing. In the end, the judge and the jury have to decide after the hearings, if the defendant is guilty or not.
The role of a defense attorney starts long before a hearing begins. He has to accompany his client to the police station and interview him for all the details associated with the case. He works hard to collect evidences and witnesses related to the case. It is important to have a detailed conversation with the witnesses, and if important, get security for the safety of the witness.
Some big law firms hire investigators to collect evidence but many defense attorneys examine the crime scenes and police reports. It is also defense attorney’s job to gather information from the police officer present at the crime scene. After taking all the information about the case, the defense attorney decides how to present his case in court before the judge to prove his client not guilty.
Sometimes, the case is very complex and it is very hard to get rid of charges. So it is defense attorney’s job to decide conviction or release.
Sometimes the prosecutor tries a settlement outside the court. This saves money, time and tension for both the parties, if agreed at some point. But if no one accepts the deal, the trial will go on defendant’s demand. Otherwise the defense attorney will negotiate for his client the best possible terms.
Defense attorney can advise his client but the final decision is made by the defendant himself.
When the decision is made that case will be presented in the court, the defense attorney represents the case after assessing the members of jury. He will try hard to create an environment that sympathizes with the accused person. He will present evidence and witnesses according to the state’s laws and rules. The defense attorney should have a good grip on the laws and start the argument with confidence. If a defendant cannot afford to hire a defense attorney, one is provided by the state to represent him.
There are two types of defense attorneys. One of them is civil defence attorney and the other is criminal defense attorney. People, who are accused not by state but by the people, by breaking a contract or violating someone’s rights, hire civil defense attorney. They may have no criminal record prior to this case.