The criminal justice system is a complex affair. The system consists of multiple interrelated pillars which can be overwhelming and confusing to understand on your own. That’s why it is necessary to have a defence counsel that will assist and guide you through the process. For this area of legal practice, there are no better experts than defence attorneys themselves.
Now some of you might be wondering what a defence lawyer does, to understand the scope of their responsibilities in court, here are a few things that are worth knowing.
Making a Choice
During a proceeding, the court will require the defendant to have his/her own defence counsel. For this step, the defendant has two options when choosing a lawyer that will represent him/her in court. S/he can either opt for a court-appointed lawyer or a panel attorney which is an ideal choice for people who cannot afford to hire their own counsel. But in case the defendant is more comfortable in hiring a private attorney, s/he can do so. Just remember that this will be paid for by the defendant him/herself.
The Role of a Defence Attorney
One of the responsibilities of a defence counsel is to safeguard the interest of their clients. Aside from providing assistance, they must help highlight the circumstances and information that are in favour of their client’s. That’s putting their role in a simple way, but their job goes way beyond that. To enlighten you about their role, here’s an overview of what they do.
Before the Trial
A criminal defence attorney is responsible for investigating the case against their client and researching the facts, and making negotiations with the prosecutors. In other words, they have the power to cross-check all submitted reports and information to see how they could best help their clients. In many cases, they are also entitled in receiving a copy of all the materials related to the case so they could study and verify the information given to the court. This, however, is only possible if the police or authorities allow them to.
During the Trial
In the time of the proceedings, part of the defence counsel’s job is to highlight the information and facts that favours their client. It is during this point, in which the court will allow them to examine the witness statements, evidence presented in court, as well as formulate deals that would protect the interest of their clients. They could negotiate a deal or agreement to ensure their client would not be on the losing side.
After the Trial
The job of a criminal defence lawyer doesn’t end after the court trial. Most of them extend their service by submitting an appeal if they deem that the ruling is unfair and unjust. In addition, they ensure that all the things that the parties and the court agreed upon during the trial are followed and met.
This is just an overview of what a defence counsel does. In case you are in need of a legal representation in court, choosing a trustworthy defence law firm is your best bet in hiring a skilled and experienced defence attorney.
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