Crime is not an unknown term for us. Any unlawful act that can be subjected to punishment from the government, chiefly blatant violation of laws and brutal offenses against morality can be categorised as crimes. Those responsible for such acts are called criminals. This domain is covered under criminal laws. Therefore lawyers who are specialised in the field of criminal law are called criminal lawyers. In other words, someone who has been broadly trained in the field of criminal justice system of a country and can handle a diverse spectrum of criminal cases is a criminal lawyer. But what do the criminal lawyers do on a daily basis?
Do they fight against crime? Well the answer to this is “definitely not”. We will get to it gradually.
TYPES OF LAWYERS
There are basically two broad categories of lawyers:
- Civil lawyer, the one who deals with civil disputes, frauds and deals with other similar non criminal offenses and,
- Criminal lawyer, the one who peculiarly deals with criminal offenses like murder, domestic violence, crime related to sexual abuse and molestation and likewise.
There are various other categories as well like tax lawyer, business lawyer, insurance lawyer, corporate lawyer, divorce lawyer and so on. This classification broadly depends upon the area of specialization chosen by an individual.
There is also an apparent division among the civil lawyers. The one who defends the individuals and groups that are accused of committing a crime and the other who represents the state or the government. The former are called criminal defense lawyers or defense attorneys and the latter are called prosecutors or public defenders. The terminologies may differ as per difference in judicial practices in different places for instance, a rotating system of appointments is used in some jurisdictions where the judges appoint the attorneys for each case.
Hence one can say a criminal lawyer is someone capable of defending people or a firm or a group charged with criminal offenses.
WHAT DO CRIMINAL LAWYERS DO ON A DAILY BASIS?
The work profile of a criminal lawyer is quite intriguing. It requires rigorous practice in the domain of criminal law and hard work as well. Most of the attorneys work for full time exceeding the time frame of 40 hours a week. Working for extra hours is quite common for a criminal lawyer. But here the question arises: what do criminal lawyers do on a daily basis?
There is a plethora of work for a criminal lawyer, from gruesome cases of brutal murders and violence to treacherous cases of fraud and theft, all are to be handled by these lawyers.
A criminal lawyer has to do the following work as part of their job:
- Investigation of the cases
- Interviewing the witnesses
- Exploring case laws, crime codes, decrees, statutes and procedural laws
- Constructing a strong defense
- Developing influential case strategy
- Seeking proper negotiations from the prosecutor in order to plea bargain to reduce charges
- Advocating for the defendant charged with a criminal offense
- Draft, file and argue motions to suppress the charges and dismiss the case
- Argue appeals
To convince a jury and to argue a client’s case beforehand the judge, a criminal lawyer must have excellent oral and written advocacy skills. In order to build a strong defense it is important to skillfully investigate and examine the case. In depth understanding of criminal laws, procedure of court, local judiciary laws, and other such factors is a prerequisite.
ALSO READ : HOW MUCH MONEY DO CRIMINAL LAWYERS MAKE IN USA?
So now you know what criminal lawyers do on a daily basis.
HOW TO BE A CRIMINAL LAWYER
If one wishes to be a criminal lawyer one must obtain a degree in law along with a bachelor’s degree. Further specialization in the field of criminal law is required. Criminal lawyers must pass the bar examination in order to get the license in the state in which they intend to practice. One may also earn a board certification provided by various boards related to criminal law and criminal attorneys in the various countries like the National Board of Trial Advocacy and the National Board of Legal Speciality Certification.
A criminal lawyer can work in private training or firms as well as for the administration as public defenders some may also choose to work for non profit organizations. Whatever may the work profile be a healthy place and a better practice environment to practice their cases is necessary to develop the advocacy skills as a criminal lawyer.
With increase in crime rates globally, criminal law is something that can be called a growing practice niche. Old criminal laws are being amended, new criminal laws are being made allowing the criminal attorneys to explore their knowledge and skills as lawyers. Criminal lawyers are among the highest paid lawyers although their work schedule is quite hectic. In order to meet clients they have to travel a lot. To develop a worthy strategy and good defense keen examination and investigation loaded with drafts and files is unavoidable. Hence outstanding skills and knowledge is undeniably the requirement here.