Whether court-appointed or private, a defense attorney performs some essential functions.
- Investigate the facts of the case
- Investigate the case to build a defense
- Negotiate agreements with the prosecution.
- Look for the best possible result for each client
The ideal resolution for any defendant is innocence. However, this is not always the best possible result. In negotiations, the role of a criminal defense attorney is to reduce the harshness of any punishment.
- Lowered bail
- Reduced charges
- Shorter sentences
There are numerous factors at play in these cases. From public pressure to politics to overwhelmed courts and prisons, there is much to consider. An experienced attorney knows how to navigate and take advantage of these situations.
This negotiation is an important element in unblocking an overwhelmed criminal justice system. Additionally, criminal defense attorneys take some essential actions in your case.
- Examine witnesses
- Make your case
- Analyze the case of the prosecution
- Evaluate possible sentences
- Review procedures to detect faults
- Question witnesses
- Gather evidence to build your defense
Also, when immigration plays a factor in your case, the role of a criminal defense attorney is to offer guidance. The same is true for any other potential consequence of the outcome.
Defense attorneys also provide an essential reality check when it comes to consequences. They inform you about possible outcomes and help you manage your fear and frustration. Of course, when a deal is not possible, your attorney represents you at trial as well.
Private or court-appointed?
When it comes to court-appointed attorneys versus private attorneys, it usually depends on someone’s circumstances. As mentioned above, approximately 80% of the defendants cannot afford private representation. However, there are some benefits to selecting your own representation.
Private defense attorneys are often former public defenders or prosecutors. This means that they have a lot of experience within the system. In addition, it means that they understand how the prosecution works and thinks.
This gives your customers a distinct advantage. While there are studies that show similar results among private and court-appointed defenders, these focus more on conviction rates. This often does not take into account the “best possible result,” which reduces the harshness of a penalty.
Ultimately, the role of a criminal defense attorney at your trial comes down to their experience, commitment, and skills. As such, when you have the opportunity to choose your own representation, you find someone who believes in your case.
With a court-appointed attorney, much is left to chance.