If you are accused of a crime, the only person that can help you out is a criminal defense attorney. This is because you are not familiar with how the judiciary system works which makes it hard for you to represent yourself in open court.
This is because a lot of the legal rules are hidden away in court interpretations of federal and state constitutions. A good example is whether the search of your home was reasonable. It can only be considered a good search if the police obtained a warrant otherwise anything found is not admissible in court.
Given that the criminal defense lawyer has crossed swords with the prosecution in the past, they are already familiar with the tactics that the opposing party will be using and be prepared for it.
As you can see, it is a very specialized field and there are many things that need to be checked out by your criminal defense lawyer before you are given a guilty or not guilty verdict.
When your case has been given to them, you will be asked what happened. You will have to give your version of the events that took place. After listening, they will provide you with a reality check especially what will happen should the case go to trial.
They will then review the police report, interview witnesses, and examine the evidence. Since it is hard to look at everything on their own, they sometimes have researchers do it.
When you are arraigned in court, you are required to submit a plea. You could plead guilty or not guilty while some do not give one yet and then prepare for the trial date.
If the evidence against you is overwhelming, perhaps your criminal defense lawyer can negotiate so you can get a lighter sentence or reduced charges. This can only happen if this is your first time or you have a criminal record and you have something to trade.
For those who want to go to trial, the criminal defense lawyer will now prepare your defense. This may sometimes mean taking up your stand and telling the court the events that took place. This may be risky so beforehand, you will be briefed on what to say.
Witnesses will be presented. Some of these people will be able to aid in your defense while others will be against you so another job that the criminal defense lawyer will do is cross-examine them in order to cast doubt in the testimony they are giving.
The trial is almost over when the criminal defense lawyer and the prosecution give their closing arguments. The jury will then be given time to deliberate the case so you will know the verdict when they come back into the court and read it.
If you get a not guilty verdict, the criminal defense lawyer was able to do their job since you are a free man. But if you are guilty, then the next step is to appeal the decision to a higher court and hopefully, they will overturn that decision.
What a criminal defense lawyer does is not easy because the person they are helping out could commit a similar crime again or even worse in the future. Sadly, this is how the justice system works because everyone has a right to counsel and tried before their peers.