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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Facts on Criminal Attorneys & What They Do

Criminal attorneys serve an important role in the United States justice system by defending a person accused of a crime. While some accuse criminal attorneys of helping criminals get away with breaking the law, criminal defense attorneys actually protect the rights of all Americans to a fair trial and the right to be considered innocent until proved guilty of a crime.

Importance of Criminal Attorneys

Criminal attorneys help protect the rights of people accused of crimes. Constitutional provisions protecting the rights of the accused to due process of law aim to ensure that people are not persecuted for crimes they didn't commit. The job of a criminal attorney is to ensure that the accused is not deprived of these constitutional rights.

What Criminal Attorneys Do

Criminal attorneys represent people accused of crimes. This primarily involves either facilitating a plea bargain or representing an individual in court. A plea bargain occurs when the defendant wishes to admit guilt in hopes of getting a more lenient sentence. The criminal attorney columbia sc will talk to the prosecutor and try to arrange the best deal possible for his client. If the defendant does not want to plead guilty, the criminal attorney represents him in a criminal trial.

Criminal Trials

During a criminal trial, a criminal attorney's main aim is to introduce reasonable doubt. A person can only be found guilty of a crime if the prosecutor convinces the jury or judge that she is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If a defense attorney can introduce uncertainty, the defendant must be found innocent.

To introduce doubt, a defense attorney can present alternate theories of the crime or different explanations for what happened. She can try to cast doubt on the prosecution's evidence or to discredit prosecution witnesses. She can also prove that some elements of the crime aren't met; for example, she can provide evidence that the defendant was insane and didn't have the required intent or competence to be found guilty.


The two main types of criminal attorneys are private attorneys and public defenders. Private criminal defense attorneys are paid by clients and can normally pick and choose whom to represent. Public defenders work for the court system instead of for a particular client. They are usually assigned cases by judges or by the public defender's office and usually have little choice in the cases they take on.

Related Post:
How to Become a Criminal Defense Attorney
Criminal Defense Lawyer Information

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