Criminal defense lawyers are legally permitted to carry out the functions of a lawyer. Their main function is to advise their clients in accordance with the law on criminal proceedings. The latter involves proving one’s innocence, either before a judge or jury, or making the court aware of facts that might lead to lighter or heavier punishments for a person charged with a crime.
Public defenders are authorized to practice exclusively within the jurisdiction of a court. Consequently, only a court official may authorize them to represent a particular individual. A public defender is not an attorney. As such, they are not allowed to carry out any legal actions on their own. Instead, they need to be hired by the client and remain present during all court proceedings.
A duty solicitor is an attorney who is not a member of the prosecution or a member of the legal team. He or she is present solely as an observer and cannot give legal advice to any of his or her clients. They are allowed to give legal rights reminders to their clients, but cannot give them legal advice.
A defense counsel is an attorney who is neither a member of the prosecution nor a member of the legal team. He or she is permitted to conduct surveillance and interview witnesses. He or she may question witnesses who provide conflicting statements during the course of the criminal investigation or trial. He or she is also authorized to make closing arguments at trials in which he or she is a legal expert.
A public criminal law attorney represents a client whose criminal charge is brought against him or her by the State or federal government. Federal criminal defense attorneys handle cases of national and interstate criminal law. In either case, state criminal law attorneys handle cases involving state criminal law. Federal criminal lawyers only have jurisdiction over federal crimes.
A paralegal is an attorney who is not a member of the legal team or a prosecuting attorney. Paralegals draft pleadings, answer discovery questions, draft opinions, assist attorneys with cases, cross-examine witnesses and offer additional services that are not part of a lawyer’s practice. A paralegal can also prepare background reports and financial assessments for clients.
All criminal lawyers, regardless of which state they represent, must be admitted to practice in the state in which they practice. Unless the lawyer has special knowledge of local law, he must obtain the services of an immigration attorney to represent him in the court. An immigration lawyer can advise criminal lawyers on local legal matters, including how to proceed in state court even though the client cannot be in the courtroom.
A DUI (driving under the influence) attorney represents a defendant charged with a drunk-driving crime. A DUI attorney will argue the defendant’s cause in the criminal proceedings and help secure a trial that will allow the defendant to defend himself against the accusation. In most states, a guilty plea allows the prosecution to move forward with the prosecution’s case against the accused. In some states, however, a DUI attorney can make a request for a jury trial if the prosecutor is unwilling to drop the charges.
A public defender represents defendants who cannot afford private legal counsel and therefore need the assistance of a public defender to successfully complete a case. As opposed to a private lawyer, a public defender does not have any fees until the case is complete. A good attorney will aggressively build a client’s case and present all possible defenses to the prosecution at the appropriate time.
A paralegal works directly with the prosecuting attorney. He drafts all discovery and argumentation in support of the state’s case, as well as any letters or affidavits that may be necessary to support the case. The most important function of a paralegal is to draft all of the possible defense strategies to defeat the prosecution’s main arguments. Most criminal lawyers start out their careers as paralegals.
Criminal defense lawyers represent accused individuals before criminal prosecution agencies. Their goal is to provide their clients with the best possible defense and all of the options that are available to them based on their unique circumstances. The first step in a plea bargain is for the defense lawyer to interview his or her client and work out a plea bargain that the client can accept. Then the criminal defense attorney may take the plea bargain to the judge who decides the outcome of the case.