Being charged with a criminal offense has to be one of the most stressful situations in one’s life. Considering all the implications a criminal offense charge may have on the social and professional life of the accused, the reality of a situation when you face possible incarceration can leave lasting consequences on your health as well. The thing that makes this situation even more frustrating is that, even if defendant is innocent, telling the truth might not lead to the dismissal of case. The only thing that ensures the defendant’s story will be heard and they will get a fair trial is the skills of the defense lawyer.

The Role of a Defense Lawyer in Justice System

The main responsibility of defense lawyers involves representing their clients who are accused of committing some sort of crime. This job involves gathering all possible facts and evidence, questioning witnesses and presenting the defendant’s case to the court. Defense lawyers can also try to settle out of the court by negotiating with the prosecution. This way, illegal charges may result in reduced charges with a shorter period of sentence or decreased penalties.

The Importance of Defense Lawyers as the First Line of Defense when Facing the State

It should be obvious that, due to the role they play in the justice system, defense lawyers present the first and sometimes the only line of defense for the people who are facing the state. Therefore, their responsibilities do not only include proving the defendant innocent, but also preventing the state from abusing its power. In other words:

  • The state must prove that defendants are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes they are charged with. Defense lawyers present evidence to challenge all questionable assertions of facts by prosecutors to ensure that the high burden of proof is met.

  • Defense lawyers inform the defendants of their rights so the defendants are aware of them and can benefit from them.

  • Defense lawyers challenge procedural errors and seek to have charges dismissed because of the unreliable evidence or testimony.

  • Defense lawyers can determine which potential jurors might be biased against their clients and seek to remove them from the panel.

  • Defense lawyers can seek temporary release of the defendant.

  • Defense lawyers work with the defendants and other witnesses to present the defendant’s version of event and determine appropriate defense.

What Makes a Good Defense Lawyer?

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Of course, in order to fill this important role and ensure the best possible outcome for their clients, good defense lawyers need to possess these important attributes:

  • Good knowledge of the law – Legal institutions are subjected to mistakes. It is up to defense lawyers to possess sufficient knowledge of the law in order to notice and point out to those mistakes.

  • Having a perspective – Good defense lawyers cannot be narrow-minded. Experienced professionals like LY Lawyers, have a long history of cases that allows them to remain neutral, deal only with the cold facts and observe the case as a part of the bigger picture, which is the foundation for preparing a strong defense.

  • Integrity – defense lawyers must be honest with their clients on the progress of the trial and its possible outcome.

  • Client control – defense lawyers must explain the law to their clients and keep them engaged in the decision-making process. On the other hand, defense lawyers must also be ready to deal with skepticism, mistrust and sometimes even verbal abuse. Finding the ground where they’ll be able to overcome personal obstacles, control the client and keep them engaged in the process is something only the best lawyers can do.

  • Patience – Some lawyers let their lack of patience and frustration affect their timing and judgment. More experienced lawyers will know what they need to say, and when they need to say that, even in the most stressful situations.

  • Courtroom demeanor – Prosecution lawyers have the privilege to be surgical and methodical. Defense lawyers must be theatrical and command courtroom presence. If the jury feels that the lawyer is, to any degree, intimidated by the prosecutor or the judge, they will have a problem believing their client as well.

  • Presentation skills – Or in other words, ability to present the ideas in a clear, concise, effective and coherent manner.

  • Prosecutor background – Although not essential, prosecution background is, most definitely, one of the defense lawyer’s most desirable attributes. Knowing how the system works inside and what is the prosecutor’s mindset can only help a lawyer to make a stronger case for their client.

With all the things said, we can only conclude that the influence defense lawyer’s skills have on the outcome of the trial are tremendous. Probably essential. Therefore, finding the best possible lawyer should be the priority for anyone facing a trial.

Marcus is an IT support professional. He’s running his own business, working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.

1 Comment
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