It is extremely important to talk to a lawyer if you are ever charged with a crime. Many people, upon finding the need for an attorney, will ask themselves what does a criminal defense lawyer do? This is an important question to ask and the answer makes for a more informed consumer. It can also be extremely interesting and a look into how the criminal justice system actually operates.
Those who are unable to afford an attorney may be assigned a public defender. Public defenders, while well intentioned and qualified, are often burdened with a case load that does not always allow for their best work on every single case. This makes it even more important to find a qualified attorney who will have the resources to fight on your behalf.
Criminal defense attorneys chose to specialize in the area of criminal justice. Many have worked previously as either prosecutors for the state or public defenders. They have an understanding of how the court operates and how business runs from day to day. Most importantly, they may know the court personnel, the prosecutors, and the judges quite well. In many cases they have worked with these people in the past and built a rapport with them.
Many criminal defense lawyers spend at least part of their day in the courtroom on behalf of their clients. Because of this they become comfortable in the courtroom environment and knowledgeable about how the system works. Often times the attorney can appear on behalf of the client and the person charged does not even have to be present.
Defense attorneys also spend a great deal of time on the phone. They are either talking to clients, negotiating on their behalf, or any other communications that their clients require. Electronic correspondence is also becoming more common.
Their time in the office is also spent meeting with clients and potential clients. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. This consultation is important in bringing in new clients and the attorneys take these meetings seriously.
Attorneys are also required to keep up to date with the current laws and court decisions. The American Bar Association along with other professional groups requires their members to devote a minimum number of hours to continuing their education.
When meeting with an attorney the first time do not be afraid to ask them that important questions: "What does a criminal defense lawyer do?". A qualified and confident attorney will enjoy explaining how they fight for their clients and the success they have had in the past.