Criminal defense lawyers also called criminal lawyers or public defenders, have a scope of duties in state, appellate and federal courts. They work on various cases to protect, guide, and defend individuals or organizations facing criminal charges in any reported criminal case. These cases can be anything from domestic violence, sex assaults, drug abuse, fraud, driving under the influence (DUI), and theft.
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Types of Criminal Lawyers
First off, it is crucial to understand that criminal lawyers are categorized into two main groups: the criminal defense lawyer (private attorneys and court-appointed) and the government persecutor.
Individuals who can afford a lawyer can hire a certified private attorney like Stroleny Law, P.A, to represent them in their cases. But on most occasions (80%), the defendant is unable to hire an attorney. The court may assume responsibility in such situations and select a counsel (paid by the government) to represent the defendant in the criminal charge, considering all requirements are met.
On the contrary, a prosecutor works for the government and aims to prove the defendant guilty. The government often employs them as district lawyers to prosecute the defendant in critical cases. Their job is to present the court with solid evidence that proves the defendant is genuinely guilty without question.
Types of Cases That Criminal Lawyers Tackle
As we have seen, a criminal lawyer is responsible for protecting the defendant. He /she evaluates the case against their defendants and negotiates trials, plea bargains, and bail bonds with their prosecutor counterparts.
Any criminal lawyer must get in touch with a defendant and obtain as much information about the case as possible and learn the potential strengths and weaknesses of the case. Then he can effectively develop defensive strategies on the case.
Here are some of the cases that criminal lawyers tackle?
- Crimes Against Fellow Persons
Crimes on fellow persons are declared if an individual causes physical or mental harm to another. It consists of two types: violent crimes, like child abuse, and homicide if the physically assaulted person dies. Charges associated with homicide include voluntary manslaughter, first-degree murder, and vehicular homicide.
But not all homicide falls under manslaughter. Some forms of homicide are lawful. The criminal attorney can help justify them using affirmative defense, which bases the cause of death on factors like self-defense, necessity defense, and insanity.
- Crime Surrounding Property
Any crime that involves a violation of other people’s property is punishable by law. As a result, the other party cannot access and enjoy the property following the unlawful act. Crimes surrounding property might be anywhere from burglary, robbery, and shoplifting to larceny and auto theft.
Although plenty of property-crimes defendants are found guilty, numerous have been able to prove innocent. The crime lawyer can help expose flaws in the prosecutor’s case, as it’s been done many times, and present facts that showcase the defendant as innocent.
- Statutory Crimes
Statutory crimes are committed when an individual violates a statute. A statute is a legislative law prohibiting certain misconduct in the community like drug trafficking, a specific traffic offense, or rape. For example, It’s illegal in Florida for an adult, someone over 18 years of age, to have sexual activity with an underage (someone below 18)
In the case of a rape offense, the defendant may still face charges despite having reason, like not identifying the victim’s real age at the time of committing the crime.
However, having an experienced criminal lawyer, in that case, is crucial. They can evaluate any strengths on the prosecutor’s side and develop effective defenses for your protection. A criminal lawyer also understands how judges and prosecutors handle similar cases and can negotiate lesser charges or minimal penalties.
- Financial Crimes
Financial crimes are deceptive activities done by individuals like corrupt heads of state or organizations for economic gain. As one party enjoys a financial gain, the other suffers a financial loss. The commonly practiced financial crimes are money laundering, tax evasion, fraud, and terrorist financing.
The financial sector is often susceptible to fraud following its complex nature. Therefore, implementing proper measures to combat the various forms of financial crimes effectively is vital. Specific organizations like the US-based Financial Crime Enforcement Network are also on the frontlines to inspect and combat the possibilities of financial fraud in national and global transactions.
Listed above are common cases handled by lawyers. Issues come in different forms, and particular lawyers are more conversant with handling specific cases. It is crucial to do a background check before you hire any lawyer to take up your case.