What Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Do?
The criminal defense lawyer plays the most important role in the justice system. While the state can use its limitless resources to bring criminal charges against a person, only a defense attorney can advocate for the accused and protect their constitutional rights.
The specific duties of a criminal defense lawyer vary. From investigating a case to taking it to trial, your attorney will play a vital role in every stage of your case. A lawyer is often the only advocate a person accused of a serious charge might have.
If you are facing criminal charges in Minnesota, it is crucial that you seek legal counsel that will protect your rights. The attorneys of Gerald Miller have the skill and experience that can help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case. Call right away to set up a free initial consultation.
Interview the Client
The criminal defense process starts with a conversation between the client and the lawyer. Only the client can give a complete accounting of their side of the story. Often, the facts the police relied on to make the arrest are faulty. During this interview, the client can advise their attorney on what really happened.
During the course of this interview, a criminal defense lawyer can ask questions that will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the case. These questions can also give the client an idea of what taking the stand in their own defense might look like.
Investigating the Case
The investigation into the facts of the arrest might start with a client interview, but they do not end with one. A criminal defense attorney will thoroughly investigate every aspect of the case starting with the arrest report. In addition to the police report, the lawyer may identify and interview any relevant witnesses that might have information about the case. Anything from security video to physical evidence could be useful to the defense attorney.
In the end, the purpose of this investigation is to identify the strongest defense possible. The lawyer will look for evidence that the police violated their client’s rights during the course of the arrest. If the attorney can show the police illegally obtained evidence, they can move to suppress that evidence at trial.
Updating The Client
A skilled criminal defense lawyer will maintain ongoing contact with their client beyond the initial meeting. This process involves regular updates on the progress of the case as well as requests for additional information from the client. When the client stays informed about the status of their case, they are less likely to be surprised or disappointed with its ultimate outcome.
Plea Bargain Negotiations
Most criminal cases do not result in a trial. Often, defense attorneys can build a strong enough case for acquittal that the prosecution will agree to dismiss the charges. When that is not an option, the two sides frequently come together to hammer out a plea agreement.
Plea bargaining is not the best option in every case. While some pleas allow for a diversion that will result in no criminal record, others come with not only a conviction but also a jail sentence. A lawyer will carefully explain the pros and cons of any plea offer to help ensure the client makes an informed decision. While an attorney can advise what choice they think is best, it is up to the client to agree to a plea bargain or not.
Trying the Case
Defense lawyers are front and center when a criminal case goes to trial. Their role begins with jury selection and carries on through the presentation of evidence. The heavy lifting of a trial is typically done in advance, allowing the attorney to adjust their strategy as the trial rolls on. Upon conviction, the defense lawyer will also represent the client during the sentencing phase. This could occur immediately after the conviction of weeks later.
Learn How Gerald Miller Can Help
When you hire a criminal defense attorney, you put your future in the hands of an experienced professional. Let the hard-working Minnesota criminal defense lawyers of Gerald Miller review your case and advocate on your behalf. Call (612) 440-4608 right away to schedule your free consultation with Gerald Miller today.