What Is A Criminal Defense Lawyer?

A criminal defense lawyer is one who represents an individual accused of committing a crime, including in court. In a criminal case the person accused of committing the crime is known as the defendant. In criminal law the prosecutor is an agent of the state, not the victim however the prosecutor does represent the victim indirectly.

Only in civil cases is there a plaintiff, per se. In criminal cases where there is a prosecutor the party that brings the charges is the state, not the victim. In the United States and many other countries if the accused cannot afford to engage the services of a private lawyer the state will appoint one to represent the accused. There are many state public defenders but they are usually burdened with high case loads so those that can afford it will usually hire their own lawyer.

In any criminal proceedings the principal task of the Long Beach criminal defense lawyer is to use the law to its fullest extent to cast doubt on the case brought by the prosecution. In the US a person is innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, it is the prosecutor’s job to do just that. Because the defendant is presumed innocent the defense lawyer does not have to prove the client’s innocence. The defense lawyer is charged with the responsibility of bringing out evidence, if it exists, to exonerate his or her client.

Although the defense lawyer is expected to vigorously represent the client there are limits. A lawyer cannot place a witness on the stand under oath when the lawyer knows the witness is perpetuating a lie, nor can the lawyer lie to the court. It is this reason that many defense lawyers do not want to know if their client is guilty. When the lawyer does not know the guilt or innocence of the client he can mount a more vigorous campaign and the strategy used in the defense of the client can be more flexible.

Having said that; there are times when knowing the truth is important as the lawyer can develop a defense strategy that can perhaps temper the punishment by presenting the defense in the best light. This is often the case when guilt is undisputed. In cases like this the Long Beach criminal defense lawyer will attempt to pleas-bargain with the prosecution in hopes of getting a shorter sentence or reducing the charge.

Being accused of committing a crime can be very traumatic, if you find yourself in this situation then you will need to hire a Long Beach criminal defense lawyer. You are invited to contact the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann.




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