Being a modern-day criminal defence attorney entails far more duties and responsibilities than is commonly depicted in movies and television shows. Navigating the complexities of the legal system, while also providing competent representation of the client’s interests and adhering to the ethical mandates of the legal profession, can be a delicate balancing act of competing, and often contradictory interests. Even outside of the courtroom, a counsellor can provide emotional support during one of the most trying times a person can go through. Learn Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson – Long Beach.
In order to prepare a case, a criminal defence lawyer must first determine what the client is accused of and what the potential penalties are. Misdemeanors are usually less serious crimes; however, some higher-level misdemeanours can still result in significant fines or jail time. Felonies, such as murder, kidnapping, and rape (usually the kind depicted in the media and on television), are more serious crimes with harsher penalties. Regardless of the seriousness, a lawyer representing a client is required by legal ethics to diligently protect the client’s interests.
Even if there is no question why a client committed the crime, the criminal defence counsel plays a vital part in the trial. The principle of stare decisis (Latin for “stick by matters decided”) or precedent underpins our legal system. As a consequence, a court’s decision in one case could have an effect on how a later case is decided.
By insisting on the prosecution proving each and every element in the case (especially where guilt is not at issue), a defendant’s lawyer helps to ensure that no questionable precedents are set for future cases where the question of legal responsibility is less clear; to put it another way, ensuring that all the rules are followed in obvious cases.