What Are The Duties Of A Criminal Attorney?
Criminal charges bring a lot of troubles, including severe penalties, hefty fines, and impact on personal, social, and professional life. A criminal attorney has a variety of legal duties. They are obligated to keep the conversations between the clients and themselves confidential. A criminal lawyer must also prevent conflict of interest, which means they cannot represent multiple clients in the same criminal matter. Here is a list of a few duties of a criminal attorney.
Table of Contents
- Privileged Communication
- Ardent Representation
- Conflict of Interest
- Being Honest To Courts
- Understand The Case Presented
- Keeping The Defendant Updated
- How To Choose A Criminal Defense Attorney?
Criminal attorneys must maintain privacy regarding attorney-client communication. This allows clients to speak safely to the attorneys without any fear of reprisal; however, there are a few exceptions. Privilege doesn’t apply if a client uses the attorney’s advice to commit a crime.
It is the duty of criminal defense attorneys to represent their clients ardently. They must take all the necessary steps to prepare a viable defense. He/she must gather all the necessary facts, interview the witnesses, review police reports, etc. Attorneys may ask the court to take into task novel interpretations of the prevailing law to support the interests of their clients. Attorneys needs to be prepared to question the witnesses at trial and prepare compelling arguments for the judges and juries.
Conflict of Interest
A criminal defense attorney has to prevent any conflict of interest while representing the client. They also must ensure that past clients refrain from interfering or creating conflict in the current case. For instance, an attorney might not adequately attack the witness if the two have had an attorney-client relationship previously.
Being Honest To Courts
A criminal attorney owes a duty of honesty to the jury and the judge. Attorneys are required to be very honest when communicating with the court. They must not support clients who give misleading or false testimony.
Understand The Case Presented
The attorney must work on understanding the case and the client. His/her job is to learn what exactly happened and understand every detail from your perspective. From there, your attorney will discuss the best possible outcomes of the situation and work towards the outcome you feel is right for you.
Keeping The Defendant Updated
Another big responsibility of an attorney is to update you consistently throughout the legal procedure. Whenever there is a new development or your lawyer is informed of anything regarding the case, for example, a new plea bargain, it is the attorney’s responsibility to inform you as soon as possible.
How To Choose A Criminal Defense Attorney?
A defense attorney’s largest responsibility is to keep the clients’ best interests in mind. They need to defend the client inside the courtroom and outside. Here are a few qualities that you should look for in a criminal defense attorney.
An Attorney Should Be Responsive
In case you’re facing a criminal charge, you must hire an attorney who starts working on the case immediately. They must respond quickly and answer your phone calls or emails on time.
An Attorney Must Specialize In Criminal Law
The right attorney must specialize in criminal law. In case you don’t find anything on the attorney’s website about criminal law, it is possible that they might not be the right lawyer for you. An attorney must be regularly involved in criminal law to remain updated on the nuances and the best possible defenses.
Choose An Experienced Lawyer
In addition to finding a qualified lawyer, you must find an attorney that is experienced in local courts. This aspect of selecting an attorney is often overlooked. But connections and relationships might go a long way when fighting a criminal charge. Knowing the nitty-gritty of the court can help a lot while fighting a criminal charge.
Look For Referrals
The best way to find a good attorney is to ask your family and friends if they know any good criminal lawyers. Those who have had first-hand experience with an attorney can help you offer insights into how well they will handle the case.
Check Reputable Sources
The internet is a great way to learn about an attorney. Some internet sources are reliable, while some are not. Websites like Google+ and Facebook do not let attorneys remove any bad reviews. Hence, they are even as an excellent place to look at what other clients have to say about the attorneys. While you must not solely rely on one negative review, these sites are a great way to get the opinion of previous clients.
Hire an expert lawyer like Kaysi Fagan, who has successfully defended criminal prosecutions at every level of court in Canada.