Most people in the United States have heard of criminal defense lawyers, but don’t understand exactly what they do or how they assist their clients. The public’s knowledge of the legal process is mostly derived from courtroom dramas and television shows. This can lead to misconceptions about the role of a criminal defense lawyer. As the protectors and advocates of the accused, criminal defense attorneys play a crucial representation role in the West Palm Beach justice system. They help the people charged with criminal acts with plea bargains, bond hearings, trial, and probation. In this article, we help you understand the role of a West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer.
Assessing the Case
The role of a West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer starts long before the trial. The lawyer must have a solid understanding of the criminal case against the client. The attorney must gather as much information as possible regarding the case, analyze police reports, and crime scenes. If possible, the criminal defense lawyer is tasked with visiting the crime scene to collect valuable information that will help in defending the accused. After gathering the information, the defense lawyer’s role is to determine the odds of conviction or acquittal of the defendant.
Protect the Rights of the Accused
The criminal defense lawyer has the enviable task of protecting the rights of the accused as stated under the Bill of Rights. The lawyer is bound by law to make sure that the defendant is treated fairly by the West Palm Beach judicial system. The defense attorney must ensure that the accused is granted:
● The right to trial by a jury of peers
● The right to a quick, fair and public trial
● The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty
● The right to remain silent
● The right to legal representation
These rights are upheld under the Bill of Rights, and the criminal defense lawyer must assist the defendant in protecting them.
Handling Pleas and Trying the Case
It is a common practice in West Palm Beach for the prosecutor to contact the defense lawyer with a plea bargain offer. This mostly involves the accused pleading guilty to a lighter crime. The accused receives a lesser sentence, and the state saves money and time. It is the role of the criminal defense lawyer to determine whether the plea bargain is in the best interests of the defendant. If the accused opts to go for trial, the defense attorney is then tasked with trying the case. The lawyer must assess the jury and come up with excellent strategies to support the case in an effort to acquit the defendant.
Officer of the Court
The criminal defense lawyer represents clients while still acting as a representative of the court. The criminal attorney must follow the proper court requirements and procedures at all times. Decisions made on behalf of the clients must reflect knowledge and limits of the laws of the court.
Sometimes portrayed as villains, criminal defense lawyers are crucial for the smooth running of the West Palm Beach legal system.