What is a Defense Attorney, and When Will I Need One?

A defense attorney is an attorney who would defend someone who has been charged with a crime. Some specialized attorneys focus on certain parts of the law, for example, sex crimes, white-collar crimes, or even homicide charges. There are also defense attorneys who focus on general crimes and represent anyone who needs it. You’ll probably know defense attorneys best from tv shows and films, but their job is far harder than any cinematic masterpiece could display.

What do defense attorneys do?

In simpler terms, a defense lawyer defends someone who has been accused of a crime. Whether it’s a Williamson county defense attorney or New York defense attorney, their job is the same. Accusations often lead to arrests which then lead to trials. A defense attorney could represent someone at trial if they’re pleading not guilty to the charge or fight for the best deal possible if someone were to plead guilty for a crime. A deal often includes a shorter sentence for a crime as it avoids going to trial. For example, someone may face 25 years in prison for a homicide charge, but they may only have to do 18 years in prison if they were to accept a plea deal. However, it’s not as easy to persuade a judge or jury that a client hasn’t done something. There is a lot of thought and planning that needs to go into any defense. Although in the eyes of the law, it is innocent until proven guilty, the job of a defense lawyer is to convince a judge and jury that their client is innocent and did not commit the crime they’re accused of doing. A defense attorney needs to gather and comb through evidence to prove their client is innocent and submit countless documents to represent their client. Most of the evidence is found during the discovery phase and should be shared between defense and prosecution so that everyone is on the same page, although this doesn’t always happen. A defense attorney will then present an argument that suggests their client is innocent and should not be prosecuted, letting them live freely.

Will I need a defense attorney?

You will not need an attorney if you haven’t done anything wrong. If you do happen to become involved in a criminal investigation, your role will depend on if you need a defense attorney. If you are a witness, then no, you do not need one, but if you are involved with any criminal activity, you will likely need to lawyer up. If your crime is considered a misdemeanor, something like petty theft or traffic offenses, you can hire a defense attorney. However, it’s not completely necessary as these charges don’t usually result in jail time. Serious crimes such as rape charges, kidnapping, or murder will need a professional on the case. These cases will likely go to trial, and when there’s a trial, there’s always defense and prosecution; otherwise, it wouldn’t be fair on the accused or the accuser.

How do you hire a defense attorney?

If you do need an attorney, you can hire one with ease. Numerous trained attorneys will be willing to help your case. Family, friends, or even colleagues may recommend suitable attorneys too. When you hire an independent attorney, you will have to pay the legal fees that arise. There are some, especially businesses, who keep an attorney on retainer. This means paying a monthly or annual fee to use their services at the drop of a hat. If you cannot afford a retainer or even legal fees, a state defense lawyer can be appointed to a case. Everyone deserves legal representation so the state can provide adequate services.

Ideally, you ought to stay out of trouble and avoid any confrontation with the police. However, these things do happen, so having the right defense by your side is a great way to deal with any criminal charges.

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