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Criminal Myths Lesson 2 - Criminal Defense Attorney works only in Court?




Criminal lawyers work hard. They work inside and outside the courtroom. They work long before the trial and, sometimes, in the middle of the trial. They work to represent their client. Being a criminal defense lawyer requires several skills. You must have:


- negotiation skills

- investigation skills

- skills in counseling and working with people

- you may need skills in arguing.


Sometimes a criminal lawyer must work for his client outside the courtroom. Finding rehab, finding family members, finding agencies and services. Sometimes a lawyer looks more like a social worker but that is all part of the job.


Sometimes the criminal lawyer is the only one listening to the client. The lawyer must be ready to deal with a lot of stress put on the client. This is a scary time. The client could go to JAIL. They could go for years and years. This is terrifying for the client and the lawyer.


A criminal defense lawyer could work for a private law office. The lawyer could work for the county. The lawyer could be a public defender in State or Federal court. Criminal defense lawyers can be in many places but all have one goal, the good of their client.


Can you have a lawyer? The Federal and State constitutions give you the right to have a lawyer. Even if you cannot afford a lawyer you have the right to a lawyer.


A defendant could find him or herself charged with many types of crimes. You could find yourself charged with shoplifting. You can get into a fight with a loved one and find yourself charged with domestic assault. One day you had a small amount of marijuana and find yourself charged with simple possession. You go to a party. you drink too much. You could find yourself charged with Driving Under the Influence. Murder, robbery, rape and other crimes are a few examples of what you will see in criminal court. For each crime and for each person there is a criminal defense attorney.


Criminal defense lawyers look for the best interests of their clients. The attorney may want to show evidence. The attorney may want to call a witness. Remember the defendant has NO obligation to prove they are innocent. The STATE has to show that you are guilty.


Since the defendant does not have to proved they are innocent the lawyer has nothing to do, right? WRONG. The lawyer has to cross examine the prosecutors witness. To cross examine means to ask questions. To ask good questions the lawyer may go out to the place where the state says the crime took place. The lawyer may want to wonder, "why would the state's witnesses lie about my client." Much of this job is in court, but there is more. Before going to court the criminal defense lawyer will want to read cases that are similar. He or she will read the rules of procedure and evidence. He or she could ask other lawyers about how your judge acts in certain situations. There is a lot to know before, during and after your case.


Does a criminal defense lawyer work in the court room? Yes. Is this the only place they work? NO. If you think they only work in the court room you are believing a myth, a fairy tale. Now you know. Now you understand. Now, get a lawyer and defend yourself.