If you’ve never had to play the role of defense attorney, it’s best to prepare yourself. Many consider it to be the most difficult form of law practice.
If your defendant is guilty, you may have to work against a negative public opinion and public outcry. If your defendant is innocent, it can put a lot of pressure on you to do everything you can to clear their name.
Are you preparing to be a defense attorney and want to channel the best? Here are five tips for succeeding as a defense attorney.
1. Carefully Choose a Jury
Both sides of the case want people on the jury that are easily swayed to support their side. But, unfortunately, it’s usually a lot harder for the defense. Juries tend to come in ready for a conviction and don’t want to look like supporters of crime.
Top defense attorneys will talk fast to try to reveal any natural biases in potential jurors. They’ll also look up the jurors’ backgrounds to find something in the case with which they’ll be able to connect. Then, they’ll find a way to emphasize that during the trial.
2. Don’t Let Your Clients Incriminate Themselves
When in the role of defense attorney, never stop emphasizing that your client should never talk to the police when you are not present. Many refuse to heed those words and end up getting themselves into trouble.
Try to convince them that it’s in their best interest to keep quiet altogether. Often letters and phone calls from prison will reveal things that negatively impact their case.
3. Focus on “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”
Many individuals outside the world of law don’t realize that someone has to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If the consequences are more severe, the proof has to be held to a higher standard.
A good defense attorney uses this to their advantage. They will try to cast reasonable doubt about one or more key elements of the case.
4. Know the Statute of Limitations
Knowing the statute of limitations is crucial — especially since it varies by state and type of crime. The more severe the crime, the longer the statute of limitations. Misdemeanors tend to have one year, but there may be no statute of limitations for murder and embezzlement of funds for the public.
5. Look for These Case-Making Situations
Finally, there are several key points that can make or break a criminal case.
- Witness often misidentify the person who committed the crime, resulting in false accusations.
- If the defendant has a reliable alibi, it can prove they were not present when the crime was committed.
- If evidence was improperly obtained, you can file a motion to suppress this evidence in court.
- If the crime was committed under duress or in self-defense, it may not be considered a crime.
- In some states, if the crime was an accident (there was no criminal intent), charges may be thrown out.
Learn from the best by talking to the pros at Flaherty Defense Firm. Click here to learn more.
How to Succeed in the Role of Defense Attorney: Now You Know!
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